FM 2657 Construction Underway

Road crews install drain pipes on Farm-to-Market 2657 in Copperas Cove on Thursday, Jan. 3. The project calls for the 28-foot-wide, two-lane road, to be expanded to a 75-foot-wide, five-lane road from U.S. Highway 190 to County Road 4744.

Drivers commuting on Farm-to-Market 2657 might need additional travel time, but some business owners say construction isn’t impeding their traffic.

The Texas Department of Public Transportation construction project on FM 2657 — a 2½-mile roadway widening — begins at the intersection of U.S. Highway 190 and ends at County Road 4744. The normal posted speed limit of 55 mph was lowered to 45 mph to accommodate construction crews.

“I really haven’t seen a change in business,” said Chuck Cook of Christensen’s Grocery south of Copperas Cove. “But I do know that they need to do something because the roads out there are crazy.”

Bobby Krei, director of the Copperas Cove Boys & Girls Club, said some improvements and relief were made for problems the club’s visitors experienced because of the construction.

“When the construction first started, we had some issues with our buses being able to get in and out as well as parents being able to pick up their kids,” he said. “But we spoke with the construction crew as well as TxDOT, and they have built us an entrance for easier access to our parking lot.

“They also have agreed to extend the project to slope our entrance to the parking lot which wasn’t initially planned, so I would say it has improved quite a bit since the beginning of construction.”

The improvements are scheduled to be complete by summer 2014, according to TxDOT.

“It is a long-term project,” said Darah Waldrip, a TxDOT spokeswoman. “We are basically reconstructing roadways to make improvements to the highway. This will include two lanes in each direction and a center turn lane as well. We are also adding a shared use lane to accommodate cyclists.”

The project also includes storm gutters and curb work.

Some residents said the improvements along the roadway are long overdue.

“I have driven this road for many years and this highway has been needing work,” said Jack Humphries, 56, of Kempner. “The construction really doesn’t cause me a big delay. But we are definitely going to benefit from the work being done.”

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