By Sean Wardwell
Killeen Daily Herald
Bureaucratic entanglements with the Federal Aviation Administration has slowed down progress on a planned 6,600-foot-long hike-and-bike trail along Rosewood Drive.
The concrete trail, which would stretch north along Rosewood Drive to Central Texas Expressway, was bundled with improvements to U.S. Highway 190, State Highway 201 and Stagecoach Road.
Since the road projects include an overpass near Skylark Field, federal aviation officials must approve the plans, which leaves the hike-and-bike trail in limbo.
"Because we are raising U.S. Highway 190 and adding a traffic signal, the project has to be cleared by the FAA," said George Lueck, Killeen project engineer. "Anytime something is built vertical in proximity to an airport, such as an overpass or water tower, FAA clearance is required."
Even though the trail is administratively bundled with the other transportation projects, it isn't eligible for the same state funding and reimbursements as the road projects. This leaves the city's estimated costs at about $290,000, which Lueck said would be paid by issuing certificates of obligation.
However, city officials cannot issue the certificates or project bids for the trail until the council has a quorum again.
Glenn Morrison, Killeen's interim city manager, said he's hopeful federal aviation officials will have issued its clearances by the time the council has a quorum in May, so the project can proceed.
"Once we get through FAA clearance with the northernmost part of the project that will conclude the design," he said. "Hopefully, we'll have it in place when the next council is seated."
Morrison added the city hopes to link the trail with parks in other cities. "We'd like, eventually, to continue south through that area," he said. "Harker Heights has a park in that area, so there's a chance to expand."
Contact Sean Wardwell at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7552. Follow him on Twitter at KDHcity.