COPPERAS COVE — As peak traffic continues to build up on U.S. Highway 190, the Texas Department of Transportation will monitor and adjust timing at the Robert Griffin III Boulevard intersection.
“TxDOT has been out there to adjust the signal timing twice since the signal was initially installed,” Ken Roberts, a spokesman for the state agency, said in an email.
The state agency also installed communication devices between Robert Griffin III Boulevard and Constitution Drive so the lights sync up with each other, Roberts said.
Since the light was installed and began functioning, drivers such as Erik Marquez said they have spent more time in Cove traffic during the morning and early evening hours.
“Realistically, it’s probably five minutes or less,” Marquez said about his trip from Kempner to Fort Hood in the morning.
Roberts said TxDOT received some complaints about the traffic and has since made adjustments to the timing of the signals.
While Marquez said the added time may be frustrating — as he saw the Robert Griffin light turn green as the Constitution light turned red last week — his real concern was safety.
“It is aggravating but as far as time, it is not that big of a deal,”
Marquez said. “But it definitely isn’t worth trying to turn left into the H-E-B.”
On his way home, Marquez said he saw cars not make it through the light from westbound lanes of U.S. 190 onto Robert Griffin. Those lanes are typically backed up and he has seen some people try to run the light to get to the store or get stuck in the intersection.
Construction work and the opening of the H-E-B on Feb. 1 also may have contributed to the congestion.
Roberts said traffic has eased in the area since the light was installed because “the traveling public has figured out that there are multiple ways in and out” of the Five Hills shopping center.
While Marquez said he will continue to take U.S. 190 and travel through the intersection to get to work, he has began driving to Constitution Avenue to get to H-E-B and may even drive down Martin Luther King Jr. Drive if he is coming from Kempner.
As construction continues in the area, the traffic light will be moved to more permanent poles sometime after westbound traffic on U.S. 190 is switched back to its normal lanes and a detour is removed.