A construction project that has proven controversial among several Cove residents was recently outlined to the community.

Nearly 200 people flocked to the Civic Center on May 31 to see the preliminary schedule and design of the Business 190 Improvement Project.

Council members, Killeen-Temple Metropolitan Planning Organization officials and BSP engineers engaged with attendees at the public presentation organized by the Texas Department of Transportation, in conjunction with the city.

The project would change Business U.S. Highway 190 as it passes through the city. The current configuration of three lanes in both directions with a center turn lane would be changed to two lanes in each direction with a median and periodic turn lanes, sidewalks and bike lanes.

Some say it would be bad for businesses along U.S. 190, and traffic flow would be restricted.

City spokesman Kevin Keller urged locals to have an “open mind on the project,” and that it would be better than years past when there were only two lanes in each direction.

If preliminary dates hold, construction could start in spring 2020 and be completed by summer 2021.

The Cove council has one more action to approve moving forward with the U.S. 190 project: deciding to proceed with the project as designed. No date was set for when that would be put on the council agenda, according Keller.

Interim City Manager Ryan Haverlah briefly outlined how the project has developed over the years. The U.S. 190 Master Plan was started in 2013, and over the years, access/traffic studies were performed and council support was declared.

The city was awarded $10 million from KTMPO in 2017, which includes a 20 percent match ($2 million) from TxDOT. The project also includes a $420,000 landscaping feature funded by the Governor’s Community Achievement Award.

To date, the city has spent more than $721,000 toward the preliminary design. The city is required to pay more than $1 million for the design process.

The 1.2-mile project is geared toward enhancing traffic/pedestrian and bike safety, as well as access management and traffic flow.

“This is a project in the community that will have a significant impact on the community,” Haverlah said.

Go to www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/projects for full project details.

Written comments on the project may be mailed by June 15 to Janet Sheguit with BSP Engineers at 15 W. Central Ave., in Temple.

mpayne@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7553

Herald staff writer

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