Marion Transportation Director keeps eye on icy black roads

January 26, 2017

By John Raffel
Correspondent

It’s been a busy winter season so far for school district transportation directors such as Brad Sikkema of Marion.

Depending on Mother Nature it could even get busier.

Last Friday, Sikkema noted that Marion had school the last two days of the week. Back roads still had some ice, and their poor condition had forced closure of school earlier in the week. As of late last week, warmer weather was breaking up the icy roads.

With the past couple weeks weather black ice is always a concern  as it turns cold once again.

With the past couple weeks weather black ice is always a concern
as it turns cold once again.

But the colder weather starting on Wednesday of this week could provide additional challenges. He acknowledged that switching rapidly from warmer to cooler weather could cause some havoc to overall road conditions.

Sikkema has been transportation director 15 years but said this hasn’t been the worst stretch of winter weather he’s seen.
“A couple of years go, we had 10 days off at this times already,” he said late last week. “We’re up to seven right now. It’s up there.”

Icy roadways and sidewalks can always make for challenging walking conditions. But Sikkema indicated that aspect of walking has gone well so far.

“Some bus drivers say they’ve watched kids slip and slide in their own private driveways trying to get to the edge of the road,” Sikkema said. “We haven’t had any issues on them getting on or off the bus.”

Right now, the best solution continues to be hoping the weather behaves itself in upcoming weeks.



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