Most of those who attended a public hearing about the Rosewood Drive extension project at City Hall on Thursday evening support Killeen’s plan.
Representatives from the Texas Department of Transportation were present for the hearing, as were officials from the city. They wanted to be certain people knew the various ways public comments can still be submitted on the project.
Michael Bolin, director of transportation planning and development for the Texas Department of Transportation, clarified that this public hearing was concerned only with the Rosewood Drive extension, and not the associated hike and bike trail.
A brief presentation gave those in attendance a chance to view a map of the extension and key information.
The city’s plans show the proposed project would extend Rosewood Drive 0.6 miles from its current dead end at Riverstone Drive to Chaparral Road as a four-lane roadway with a continuous turn lane. Both sides of the road will have sidewalks, There will also be acceleration and deceleration lanes to increase safety at intersections, according to David Olson, Killeen director of Public Works.
A 284-foot-long bridge would be built across Trimmier Creek as part of the project.
No residential or nonresidential structures would be displaced as part of the project, the city said. Three undeveloped properties will be acquired to facilitate the right of way.
As proposed, the Rosewood Drive extension would pass within 200 meters of a Bell County Water Control and Improvement District No. 1 wastewater treatment plant to the east of the project.
The cost of the project is about $8 million, Olson said.
Of that amount, $5.25 million will be paid with federal funds. Killeen will pay $2.75 million toward the project.
The property where the Rosewood Drive extension and Heritage Oaks Hike and Bike Trail would run is owned by Killeen Chaparral Development LLC. The agent of record is listed as Gary “Bubba” Purser Jr.
Purser and his wife, JoAnn, attended the public hearing. They are gifting 93 acres to the city for both the Rosewood Drive extension and the hike and bike trail.
“In order for the city to afford the project, we are giving them that stretch of land,” JoAnn said. She explained how, if the project isn’t done now, the city would be coming back to them in the future, asking to buy the parcel.
Gary believes the project will “open up a corridor to the southeast part of town. It will open up opportunities.”
Of that 93 acres, only 6.5 will be used for the Rosewood Drive extension, by Olson’s calculations. The remaining property will be used for the hike and bike trail.
Bids for construction on the Rosewood Drive extension are scheduled to be awarded in January, 2018, with construction tentatively set to begin in March, according to Olson.
During the public comment portion of the hearing, Daniel Chavez, a resident living close to the existing section of Rosewood Drive, was the only person to voice his concerns about the project.
While Olson stated the project would not cause an increase in noise to subdivisions, Chavez countered that he already hears drag racing at night along Rosewood Drive.
Chavez also is hopeful that street lights will be installed at all intersections, especially where the extension will meet with Chaparral Road. “Everything should be lit up so people can see where they’re going,” he said.
Regarding the actual construction, Chavez wanted to be certain water has proper drainage. “You need to make sure water won’t pond in the road.”
Those who still wish to provide input on the project may submit written comments by mail to Bert Holmstrom, project manager, 3201-A S. W.S. Young Drive, Killeen, TX 76542.
All mail must be received by Nov. 4.
Written comments can also be submitted electronically to email@example.com, or on the Texas Department of Transportation website: http://www.txdot.gov/contact-us/form.html?id=wac-email.
Information about the proposed project is available for inspection Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at 3201-A S. W.S. Young Drive.
Information on services and benefits available to affected property owners and the schedule for right-of-way acquisition can be obtained from city project manager Bert Holmstrom at 254-616-3151.