Parents angry over construction near elementary school - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Parents angry over construction near elementary school

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) — Work is just beginning on the latest phase of the long-planned South Bay rapid transit project, which will run right by Hedenkamp Elementary School. 

While SANDAG is promising long-term benefits to the community, parents worry not enough is being done to keep the students safe from traffic. 

Now, they're trying to get a judge to stop the construction. 

Gripping bright colored signs Otay Ranch families and students pleaded Tuesday with the Chula Vista City Council to hear their concerns about the project.  

"We've been asking for help and they are not thinking about the community," said 14-year-old Melanie Jimenez.  

Residents took SANDAG to court on Tuesday asking for an injunction to stop construction.  

Plaintiffs say a judge dismissed it based on a technicality. 

SANDAG says the $128-million mass transit project is a huge benefit to the community - stretching 26 miles from the Otay Mesa Port of Entry to Downtown San Diego. It's been in the works for 30 years with much public input. 

"We can always shut down the work, but that is going to be very expensive and it will go against the regional plan and the community plan, which is to complete this guideway," said SANDAG mobility director Jim Linthicum. 

But families worry about expanding four lanes to six lanes with two bus lanes in the middle and what SANDAG says it will look like. 

Students say they worry that during and after construction they won't be shielded them from traffic. 

"I'm worried that on my bike ride to school and back that I am not going to be safe," Safiyah Sugapong said.  

SANDAG says it will continue to work with residents but parents say they haven't given up on taking SANDAG back to court. 

Residents have set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for legal fees. 

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