The Killeen City Council unanimously approved a contract to re-engineer the intersection of Trimmier Road and U.S. Highway 190 at its meeting Tuesday.
Preliminary plans call for a five-phase project that would add a middle turn lane to the current five-lane stretch of Trimmier Road, add a new relief road and other improvements.
With the design now under way, council members’ only concern Tuesday was the mounting congestion caused by two road projects in the same area: the local project and the state-funded U.S. Highway 190 widening project, which began March 1.
George Lueck, the city’s transportation director, said the timing of the projects would work together and not cause major blockages of roadways.
The Texas Department of Transportation project will add a turn lane to Trimmier Road under the U.S. 190 overpass.
“Our citizens may have some inconvenience for a while to have some great conveniences in the future,” Councilman Terry Clark said.
A major impetus for the fast development of the project, which was proposed a month ago, was the potential for low-cost bids from contractors already in the area for the TxDOT project.
The city also received about $2 million in unplanned sales tax revenues this year, which will allow it to pay for the $774,000 engineering fees without incurring additional debt.
“The city manager and all of the departments have kept a watchful eye on the budget and have saved money,” Clark said. “Because of their fiscal diligence, the money is available in the general fund to pay cash for the engineering portion of this project.”
In other business, the council approved the appointment of Matthew Van Valkenburgh as the city’s new executive aviation director.
The position has been vacant since the city promoted former aviation director John Sutton to assistant city manager-external services in October.
Most recently, Van Valkenburgh served as assistant director of aviation for McAllen, a city of about 130,000. He will earn a $95,000 annual salary and begin work April 8.