Students Take Boat To School As Bridge Damage Isolates Town: REPORT


Julianna Frieman Contributor
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Students in Colorado reportedly take boats to school as damage to a bridge has isolated a town.

The damaged bridge forced students at Gunnison High School to find creative ways to attend class like traversing the water by boat as U.S. 50 was closed until further notice, 9 News reported.

“Oh yeah, I’ve been getting asked about it the last three days. ‘Oh my gosh, how are you getting to school? Did you ride the boat today?’ What’s going on?” Hayden Fresques, a student at the school, told the outlet.

“It was weird. I was like, I’m taking a boat to school,” Fresques added. “And it was so early, the sun was just coming up. I was just like, what’s happening? It was weird. Not something I’m used to.”

Students residing past the bridge over the Blue Marina Reservoir are taken by boat to the high school on Monday and dropped off at home for the weekend on Friday, according to the outlet. Without a functioning bridge, the detour to get to the school by car is reportedly around six hours.

Although the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) opens an obscure, dirt mountain road twice daily for people to commute across, it is only available at 6:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. for trips via guide car, 9 News reported. (RELATED: ‘The Whole Bridge Just Fell Down!’: Shocking Dispatch Audio Released After Baltimore Bridge Collapse)

Gunnison Watershed School District assisted in organizing the boat rides for affected students, according to the outlet. Housing has reportedly been provided for the students. Elementary school students unable to travel by water are allowed to finish the school year online, the outlet reported.

“Their world was just rocked, just like that,” Gunnison High School Principal Jim Woytek told the outlet.

The bridge’s damage first became apparent when cracks were discovered on April 18, according to the CDOT’s website. The CDOT engineers told 9 News that additional cracks were found Wednesday, noting that a separate bridge thought to be made from the same steel could also be found to be damaged in an upcoming inspection.