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CSU parade plans stuck in government traffic

Morrow police Chief Chris Leighty briefs the city council on plans for Clayton State University's upcoming Homecoming Parade Tuesday as university representatives look on.

Morrow police Chief Chris Leighty briefs the city council on plans for Clayton State University's upcoming Homecoming Parade Tuesday as university representatives look on.

— State transportation officials have left the Morrow Police Department and Clayton State University officials in a holding pattern over a parade.

Morrow police Chief Chris Leighty said the city is awaiting final approval from state transportation officials to let Clayton State temporarily take over the northbound lanes of Jonesboro Road Feb. 9 for a Homecoming Parade. If that request is turned down, North Lee Street will be used instead.

Either way, drivers can expect temporary partial road closures for a few hours during the festivities.

“They are scheduled to go from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m., but I think it will probably be over by noon,” Leighty said. “We’ll start closing streets off about 15 minutes before the parade begins and we’ll open it back up once everyone in the parade has turned onto Clayton State Boulevard.”

Under one scenario, no one will be able to go north on Jonesboro Road, between the Lake Harbin Road/Morrow Road intersection and Clayton State Boulevard. However, the southbound lanes will remain open. Access to the park at Morrow City Hall will also likely be limited that morning because Leighty said the parking lot will be used as a parade staging area.

Under the other option, the parade would use the Southlake Festival parking lot as its staging area and travel north on North Lee Street toward Clayton State Boulevard.

But, until the Georgia Department of Transportation makes its decision, police and university officials are stuck not knowing where the parade will be held.

“We’re going to give them until Monday and if we don’t hear back from them by then, we’ll just start proceeding forward somehow,” Leighty said.

The police chief said Clayton State police and reserve and part-time Morrow officers will be used to work the parade rather than calling on-duty Morrow police officers off their normal beats.