- Associated Press - Monday, February 2, 2015

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) - Ongoing construction on the Interstate 69 extension near Bloomington is causing headaches for some local school bus drivers dealing with long detours.

Drivers for the Monroe County Community School Corp., which includes Bloomington, have had to improvise their routes because of detours around the I-69 construction zones.

Four contract bus drivers who pay for gas out of their own pocket have had their pay increased because of the extra miles they’re now traveling on their routes. One driver whose route was extended by more than two miles got $152 in back pay approved by the school board, The Herald-Times reported (https://bit.ly/16m5DR0 ).

For drivers paid an hourly rate it’s hard to estimate how much more fuel they’re using because of I-69 construction, said Gib Niswander, the district’s transportation director.

But he said the detours aren’t likely costing the school district much because a few more minutes on the road doesn’t usually make a difference in pay for hourly drivers.

“We just kind of take it in stride, make those short-term adjustments and go on,” Niswander said.

He said detours and road closures aren’t uncommon for the southern Indiana school district’s 122 bus routes.

Indiana’s I-69 extension project is slated to eventually run 142 miles from Evansville to Indianapolis.

A nearly 70-mile section opened about two years ago between Evansville and Crane, just southwest of Bloomington. Work is currently under way on a section that will run from the Bloomington area to Martinsville.

The Indiana Department of Transportation is working on an environmental study examining the options for the final segment that will run between Martinsville and Indianapolis.


Information from: The Herald Times, https://www.heraldtimesonline.com

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