Two big road work projects will slow down first day of school in Park Hill School District

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Any parent will tell you the buses run a bit behind on the first day of school.

But some students and parents are bracing for major delays on the first day back in the Park Hill School District, and it has nothing to do with families snapping pictures and videos at the bus stop.

Two major road construction projects will have an impact on three schools in the Northland district.

A portion of N.W. 72nd Street, just east of Interstate 29, has been closed for a paving project since late May.

It means many buses and parents will have to go the long way around to reach nearby Chinn Elementary.

“It’s terrible. They tear up my driveway,” said Lilli Hobbs, who lives on the closed portion of 72nd Street. “It’s probably a year before they put a new one in. There’s no reason for stuff like that."

Hobbs’ great-grandson, Quinton, is starting kindergarten at Chinn Elementary on Wednesday.

“Look at the dust,” Hobbs said. “A lot of dust and dirt, and it’s not done. Nothing is done.”

Neighbors along 72nd Street told FOX4 there hasn’t been any work happening on the road for the last five weeks.

A spokesperson for Kansas City Public Works said the delay is because of the soil instability along 72nd. Maggie Green with KC Public Works said the soil issue requires additional testing and planning for construction designers.

Lilli Hobbs doesn’t buy it.

“Get your workers out here and finish the job,” Hobbs said.

Pastor Ed Wunderlich at the nearby Glory Dei Lutheran Church strikes a more patient tone.

“We don’t have any control over it, so we just take it with a grain of salt and take it day by day,” Wunderlich said.

Another road closure on Northwood Road will likely have an impact on the district’s Southeast Elementary and the new Walden Middle School.

Cameron Fuqua, who lives off Northwood, said it’s been frustrating, but he’s trying to be understanding.

“They’re doing their job. I get it,” Fuqua said. “Maybe they don’t have enough people to help them. Maybe it’s not all their fault, you know?”

Both Park Hill officials and staff at KC Public Works said both of the road projects will likely not be finished any time soon.

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