A second public hearing on a proposed project to widen U.S. Highway 190/Interstate 14 from Harker Heights to Simmons Road west of Belton drew about 40 local residents last week.

The Texas Department of Transportation meeting took place Aug. 31 at the Harker Heights Activities Center and addressed the proposed construction project that will widen the highway from four to six lanes by adding a third lane of through-traffic in each direction in the existing median.

The first public meeting was conducted in January, also in Harker Heights.

No additional right of way or relocations would be required. The project would traverse a 100-year floodplain for Nolan Creek and tributaries.

Public Information Officer Ken Roberts of TxDOT’s Waco District told the Herald that the difference in the two meetings is that the first one gave residents a chance to view aerial photography and schematic plans of the project corridor and ask questions of consultants and engineers.

“The one on Thursday was held to let residents and business owners know that we listened the first time and made modifications based on their input,” Roberts said. This was repeated again, but we added a formal presentation by our experts and allowed the public to speak, as well,”

Only two residents spoke during last week’s public hearing.

One of those was Nolanville City Manager Kara Escajeda, who asked that an earlier planned overpass upgrade over Main Street in her city be included within the widening project.

Nolanville Councilman George French said, “A lot of changes that we submitted to them in the first meeting have been addressed, and I’m pleased about that.”

The project will extend from one mile west of Farm-to-Market 2410 (Knights Way) to FM 2410 (Simmons Road) or about 8.58 miles.

The locations of entrance and exit ramps will be modified throughout. No additional right of way would be required.

Construction funding is not currently available for the entire length of the project; however, a construction project that would extend from one mile west of FM 2410 to FM 3423 (Indian Trail), is scheduled for contract bidding in December.

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