The Student News Site of Orono High School

The Spartan Speaks

The Student News Site of Orono High School

The Spartan Speaks

The Student News Site of Orono High School

The Spartan Speaks

Construction Around Orono Schools District Affects Students’ Daily Commute

Hennepin County Minnesota
Map of construction

Since April 18th, 2023 Orono school district has been under construction and will be until the fall. County road 112 (Wayzata Boulevard) is closed to through traffic in both directions between County Road 6 and Willow Drive. Local Access to Orono schools will be maintained for westbound traffic only.

Since this construction has started, arriving at school in the morning has been impacted due to the traffic and cars lined up trying to get to school on time.

“I usually take Kelly Parkway to Crystal Bay road but since this construction has started, it has been taking me longer to get to school due to the construction,” Senior Paige Swaggert said.

There are some students who already have a long drive to school and this construction is making their drive even longer.

“The construction has made my drive like 5-10 min longer than it usually is,” Senior Carson Libby said.

Since the construction has started, many students have been arriving late to school due to the build up of cars. At first the school was not giving out any tardies/absences because they understood that it affected many students’ drive to school.

After a week of students trying to adjust to the construction and figuring out how to get to school on time, the teachers have started to give out tardies again and are expecting students to get to school on time even with the construction going on.

“I have received many tardies since this construction has started but I don’t think it is fair because it is nearly impossible to turn left onto Old Crystal Bay Road from [County Road] Six,” Senior Cayden Effertz said.

Even students who are not getting tardies still think it is unfair that the school is giving out tardies/detentions.

“I haven’t gotten any tardies but I think the school shouldn’t give out tardies right away because it takes time for the students to adjust,” Senior Hattie Etzel said.

The purpose of this construction is to improve roads for people driving and using transits. According to the Hennepin County website, they are adding new roadways with shared turns lanes to improve traffic flow and safety. They are also adding new trails for people to walk and bike on. Lastly they are doing this construction to benefit the community by adding curbs/gutters and updated utilities.

Besides the construction going on in Long Lake, there is also construction going on in Maple Plain/Loretto that is affecting many students’ drive to school.

From April all the way through late-July, crews have closed County Road 19 between Highway 55 in Loretto and Main Street East in Maple Plain. Local access to Loretto businesses will be maintained throughout construction. Through traffic will be detoured to use Highway 12, County Road 92 and Highway 55.

“This construction has made me change my normal route to school and I now have to take Hamel road… past Baker Golf Course then go back to Homestead,” Effertz said.

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Alex Groenke
Alex Groenke, Staff Reporter
Hi! My name is Alex Groenke and this is my first year writing for the Spartan Speaks. In my free time I like to play soccer and golf. This year I am managing the girls varsity basketball team and it is a lot of fun. I am very excited for reporting and working with everyone!

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