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Changes coming to Meadowlark Drive in Winston-Salem to fix congestion

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- There is good news for parents who are tired of waiting in a long line to pick their children up for school.

That line will hopefully get shorter soon.

Officials with the City of Winston-Salem tell FOX8 they've secured enough money to fix congestion at Meadowlark elementary and middle schools.

If everything goes according to plan, work on Meadowlark Drive will start in February 2020.

The project will include a turn lane in either direction and a concrete median to help with traffic flow and safety.

As it stands now, every morning and every afternoon, the line grows, with car after car looping back around Meadowlark Drive.

"It's pretty bad," said Randal Blankenship, a middle school father.

The line blocks traffic and causes delays.

"I sit here about 30 minutes every afternoon," said Natalie Brown, an elementary school mom.

The solution? A project that in August, FOX8 revealed, had been put on hold.

Parents have complained to the city, school district and FOX8 about the congestion and dangers since 2014.

Tuesday afternoon, they shared their frustrations again.

"People have to wait in line pretty long and traffic gets way backed up," Brown said. "It's very inconvenient for people that are also just passing through, not even coming to the school."

The project was supposed to start in 2018, but bids were just too high for the original city budget of $6 million.

Now, things have changed.

With nearly $1.5 million from the Federal Highway Administration and an additional $3 million from bonds approved by the Winston-Salem City Council, work is ready to go.

"The sooner the better," Brown said.

Parents hope these changes will lead to a safer, shorter wait to pick up their children.

"The turn lane coming from that direction needs to be much longer," Blankenship said. "It'll block up both lanes and you can't even turn."

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools plans to start their projects, working on some safety measures and a new entrance, once the city completes their project.

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