Killeen’s transportation department celebrated the grand opening of its new multimillion-dollar facility with a ribbon-cutting Tuesday afternoon.
“The key thing that it’s going to provide is a great workplace for our transportation people,” Mayor Dan Corbin said to a group of about 20 people at the ceremony. “It’s going to allow them some tools where they can better manage the traffic flow within our city.”
The $2.15 million facility at 3201-A S. W.S. Young Drive houses the transportation department’s offices, training classrooms, a sign shop and control room to monitor the city’s traffic signals.
Scott Osburn, director of public works, said the idea for the facility originated in 1993, but several delays along the way kept the building from coming to fruition until 2010, when the Killeen City Council moved forward with allowing the city to hire a consulting firm to design the facility.
“The main purpose of this facility is to basically increase the efficiency of the city’s transportation, streets and traffic departments,” he said. “Until this facility was completed, this department was located in about 29 different buildings.”
The facility also houses a $119,000 traffic monitoring system — composed of eight 55-inch monitors — that allows city traffic engineers to monitor traffic at the city’s busiest intersections in real time and remotely make adjustments.
Transportation staff uses cameras with the ability to pan and rotate 360 degrees to monitor some of the city’s busiest intersections.
“One of the biggest complaints of growing cities is their inability to deal with traffic problems,” Corbin said. “Here, we will have some of the tools we need to effectively deal with traffic problems.”
Cameras are at the intersections of U.S. Highway 190 and State Highway 195; U.S. 190 and W.S. Young Drive; and U.S. 190 and Trimmier Road. Another camera is on a tower at the transportation building.
Hilary Shine, city spokeswoman, said the department has been moving into the new facility and is now fully operating out of it.