GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Now that the Lorraine Road Bridge has reopened, school buses are able to resume their normal routes. Parents like Edwin Minor breathe a little easier knowing that his children are back on their regular route home. "I feel it's safer. I didn't like the school buses getting on the interstate, it's a lot closer, they're here quicker and it's better for everybody," said Minor.
He believes his children enjoy the shorter commute too. "They love it, they can get home earlier and watch their cartoons and have more time to play out here. They get home about 45 minutes to an hour earlier now," said Minor.
While the bridge's reopening is good news for everyone, the county's school district administrators are especially excited because it's going to save them a few dollars.
"From a stand point of costs, obviously running 11 or 12 miles a day with seven or eight buses begins to increase your costs, so we were happy for a lot of reasons, but costs had a lot to do with it," said Larry Benefield who is the Director of Transportation and Maintenance for Harrison County Schools.
Benefield also feels the drivers adapted well to the bridges closing. "The biggest problem was a little bit longer routes by having to go out of the way. But the people were just very gracious, not any complaints that I could think of just a little bit longer ride every morning," said Benefield.
Gulfport's director of engineering says the bridge will remain in use while a new bridge is being built. At this time no date has been set to begin construction.