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Officials: Limestone County buses driving illegally on Leggtown bridge for years

On Friday, Limestone County School District sent out a notice that their buses will no longer cross the Leggtown bridge because of the weight limit.

Posted: Jan 21, 2020 7:44 PM
Updated: Jan 21, 2020 9:07 PM

A heavy bus and a low weight bridge are forcing some parents in Limestone County to drive their children two miles to reach the bus stop.

The bus has been illegally using the bridge on Leggtown over Shoal Creek for years.

The bridge is only designed to carry vehicles that weigh 10 tons or less and the Director of Transportation for Limestone County Schools told us their buses weigh between 16 and 18 tons.

He also said this all started last week when a bus driver noticed a 10 ton sign and reported it to the school.

WAAY 31 spoke with one man who has 4 children that attend Limestone County Schools that are impacted by this change.

"I have cancer. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I leave at 5 o'clock in the morning for my treatments. What's gonna happen to my kids? That's three days a week they're going to miss going to school," says Robert Wilson.

Wilson received a notice last Friday. It means his 4 children will now have to walk more than a mile to catch their bus at a local church.

"What happens when it pouring down raining, snowing, it's freezing. They want my kids to walk all the way here to that church," says Wilson.

Ben Harrison, the District 4 Commissioner for Limestone County, explained to WAAY 31 what is wrong with the bridge.

"Right now, we're evaluating the possibility of something that would take it to 18 tons," says Harrison.

Harrison is responsible for fixing the bridge. He showed us the reason why the bridge can’t handle a large school bus.

"Between 1995 to 1999, the bridge was damaged. This false bent was put in," he explains

Limestone County Schools told us even providing a smaller bus is too heavy.

"I can't concentrate on me getting well when I'm worried about my kids. It would be different if I didn't have cancer because I'm retired. But with me going through this...I can't take my kids to school," adds Wilson.

It would cost more than $2 million to fix this bridge, and that needs to be reviewed by the state.

There’s no timetable for that or if the district plans on making any other changes.

The Director of Transportation for Limestone County Schools told WAAY 31 they're looking at options to fix this problem, but they don't have enough drivers or buses at this time.

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