Bus route changes in Tiger Valley

The estimated six-week closing of Tiger Valley Road (Route 626) by the Virginia Department of Transportation while it replaces a bridge over the Rush River isn’t just affecting the road’s many residents. Rappahannock County Public Schools’ superintendent Dr. Donna Matthews told the supervisors Monday afternoon (Aug. 4) that it’s also impacting two of the school system’s bus routes.

With nearly 20 RCPS pick ups on Tiger Valley, Matthews said the school system has had to scramble a bit to reroute bus 18 and find a way to pick those students up. “In all honesty it’s a bit of a mess,” Matthews admitted. Schools open Aug. 13; the electronic signboards VDOT erected less than two weeks ago say the road closes Aug. 7 through Sept. 28.

Matthews said the school system’s solution is to add another bus route (bus 7, bringing the school’s total to 18) to service parts of bus 18’s Tiger Valley route — including Starks, Long Mountain and Hunters roads — Matthews said. Bus 18 will return to its normal route after construction is done, Matthews said.

Bus 7, Matthews said, will begin its route at about 7:10 a.m. at Starks Road, with morning pick up exiting Hunters Road at approximately 7:45. In the afternoon, the the bus will turn onto Hunters Road at about 3:25 to begin unloading on Grand View Road (afternoon drop-off will finish by about 4:10).

Matthews said she was aware that the bus will be using Route 621 (Hunters Road), parts of which are too narrow to allow two normal-sized vehicles to pass each other safely, and asked for the public’s help and understanding during the construction period. She urged residents to try to avoid using the road during morning and afternoon pick-up and drop-off times.

“Traffic reduction . . . would be greatly appreciated,” Matthews said, noting that though the schools will try and complete the route with minimal interruptions, “buses will not back up.”