School traffic worsens Hwy 12 congestion after I-24 landslide

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Drivers in Ashland City dealt with a new traffic issue on Thursday morning.

One of the busiest alternate routes into Nashville was flooded with commuters trying to bypass the landslide on I-24 this morning — the day Cheatham County Schools returned to regular start times.

From her bake shop, Debbie Biersdorfer has a front row seat to the morning rush hour.

“It’s been very congested,” said Biersdorfer. “It really has, especially in the mornings.”

Biersdorfer’s Sassey’s Sweet Shop faces Highway 12 or the Ashland City Highway and the influx in traffic from area schools starting on-time.

“It’s just multiplied by about 500,” said Biersdorfer.

“It created some problems this morning,” said Ashland City Police Dept. Chief Marc Coulon.

Chief Coulon said there is a temporary plan in place that’s working, which includes turning off traffic signals and having officers direct traffic along the highway. 

But adding school traffic has been a setback.

“We re-opened the lights at 7:30 yesterday,” said Coulon. “This morning, with school being back in session normal time, we turned the lights back on at 8:30, so about an hour difference here and of course, more traffic.”

What could help with traffic is using this bypass – the Tennessee Waltz Parkway, which been open for two days since the flooding.

“Still a lot of commuters not using the bypass and still coming through Ashland City to Nashville,” said Coulon. “Under the circumstances, we just stress, use the bypass.”

Coulon said his department is going to try its best to keep things flowing.

“March 15th before I-24 may re-open,” said Coulon. “So I guess we’ll continue we’ll have to continue until I-24 reopens.”

A timeline that could still change.

“Try to leave the house 30 minutes early until this is over,” said Coulon.

“Patience — you’ve got to have patience and a lot of people do and don’t,” said Biersdorfer. “But you better find it.”

Coulon said he and district officials are in constant communication regarding the traffic situation.

Cheatham County School officials tell News 2 the district will operate on a regular schedule Friday.

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