COPPERAS COVE — Several Copperas Cove officials on Tuesday celebrated the nearly complete $500,000 reconstruction of Old Copperas Cove Road.
“It has been a little while since we have said it has been a great day for Copperas Cove, but today is a great day for Copperas Cove,” said Dan Yancey, the Copperas Cove Economic Development Corporation board chairman.
Vancey stood in the middle of the entirely rebuilt Old Copperas Cove Road, which made the street wider and straighter and added curb and gutters for about 1,200 feet. He said the roadway improvement will have an impact on the city’s future growth.
“This will serve as a major transportation corridor of The Narrows to my left and the Five Hills shopping center to my right,” Yancey said.
The thoroughfare connects Constitution Drive, Robert Griffin III Boulevard and the future U.S. Highway 190 together by running east and west. It will have a total of four lanes in some areas but three in others where dedicated turn lanes will be.
Old Copperas Cove Road once served as a roadway that divided pasture land at Fort Hood and as an additional entrance to the military installation.
Because of the construction, it also will serve as entrances to the Cove EDC’s Narrows Business and Technology Park, a 72-acre development scheduled to break ground in September; the Five Hills, a 127-acre shopping center; the highway and Fort Hood.
Enriquez said the 150-day project went smoothly with few delays and cost changes until recently, but the street should open for traffic Monday.
The striping on the road was delayed because of last week’s rain and the tie to the U.S. 190 bypass project is being mitigated, Enriquez said.
The roadway will have to narrow closer to the U.S. 190 construction because the contractor for an adjacent project is still working in the area, Enriquez said.
To break the ribbon signifying the near completion of the roadway and the city’s future growth, firefighters drove a fire engine through the tape held by public officials.
“Lord, today is the beginning, not the end,” said Kirby Lack, during his invocation before the ribbon-cutting. “This is not just a road to Fort Hood; it is a road to Texas. ... We are reaching out.”