COPPERAS COVE — With construction wrapping around the city, the State Highway 9 and U.S. Highway 190 bypass projects have created lane closures at both the east and west ends of town, and residents can expect more in the upcoming months.
The Texas Department of Transportation estimates the State Highway 9 contractor, San Diego-based Ledcor, will make a switch to new eastbound lanes on U.S. 190 by Thanksgiving, said Ken Roberts, a TXDOT spokesperson.
“The eastbound switch is where we will be moving traffic to new permanent lanes for the highway,” said Charles Smith, a project manager for TxDOT.
Lanes will go under the flyover bridge that’s under construction, which will allow room for access to the bypass and the state highway when construction is complete.
Preceding this lane change, the state agency moved traffic to three temporary lanes last week for westbound traffic driving into Copperas Cove, which will be brought back over after construction in the median is finished, Smith said.
“Once they move traffic over (on the eastbound lanes), we will have access to the entire median area, where we can really get in there and get the interior work done,” he said. “They will be able to ... build that crossing and eventually they will get to building the traffic signal (and intersection) for the shopping center.”
Smith said big trucks shouldn’t enter highway traffic while the contractor works in the median, but people should be cautious and obey warning signs in the area.
On the west side of the city, the contractor of the bypass project, Louisana-based James Construction, has closed one lane for westbound traffic toward Kempner.
The closure will allow the contractor to start work on the interchange between the future U.S. 190 and the present highway, which will be renamed Business 190.
Another area where drivers will see lane closures is along Farm-to-Market 116 North, Smith said.
Ledcor will tie the construction of the future state highway into the current roadway in the next couple of months. The process is expected to require several lane changes.
Highway 9 is expected to be complete in August 2013, and the bypass is anticipated to be finished by December 2013.