• December 26, 2014

Trimmier traffic trouble

Killeen council weighs plan for $8M road project

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Posted: Sunday, March 10, 2013 4:30 am | Updated: 2:16 pm, Tue Mar 12, 2013.

A plan to fix the daily Trimmier-U.S. Highway 190 traffic jam — Killeen’s busiest intersection — may have tough competition as the debate over the fiscal year 2013-2014 budget begins.

Last week, Killeen city staff presented a five-phase, $8 million plan to improve the roadways leading into the intersection of Trimmier Road and U.S. Highway 190.

“We’re calculating that the overall impact of these projects will cause a 25 percent improvement,” said George Lueck, the city’s transportation director. “That’s rather significant.”

The project will have to fight for funding with several other

important city projects, including a proposed homeless shelter and a water reuse project, which would pipe nonpotable wastewater to the municipal golf course for irrigation.

The most expensive phase of the Trimmier Road project would add a middle turn lane to the current five-lane stretch between Bank of America and U.S. 190. Enhancements to Lowes Boulevard and Walmart Boulevard and development of a new marginal access road are included in the proposal.

The marginal access road would funnel traffic away from the congested intersection through a space created behind the new CVS planned for the southeast corner of the intersection at the current Midas location.

Still, it would be more than 12 months before the project would break ground, even if the city amends the budget by $774,000 to start engineering the project.

Group work

Timing for the project would coincide with the state-funded U.S. Highway 190 widening project, which broke ground March 1.

Over the next two years, the $55 million project will add one lane in each direction to U.S. 190 between Fort Hood’s Main Gate and W.S. Young Drive, including adding lanes to access roads, known as Central Texas Expressway.

Lueck told the council that contractors may offer discounted bids for projects in close proximity to other construction because of the contractors’ savings on logistics.

“The stars really line up for this project right now,” Lueck said.

As part of its project, the Texas Department of Transportation also plans to add a new lane to Trimmier Road under U.S. 190.

“One reason we want to match that project is to take advantage of that added capacity,” Lueck said. “If not, that’s just going to taper out and then were going to lose that.”

Cost considerations

After looking at the price, Mayor Dan Corbin said he is concerned about the potential effect on the city’s long-term debt.

“The biggest concern I have is the fact that we would have to increase our long-term debt,” Corbin said. “We have to balance that with that traffic problem, which is just going to get unbearable.”

The city revealed in February that it overbudgeted $2 million for fiscal year 2012-2013.

Corbin said the city could use some of the leftover money for the engineering of the Trimmier expansion but only if it plans on finishing the project. “We’re going to get it done cheaper if we can do it while all this construction is going on, but I don’t want to do it if we can’t afford it,” he said.

Council members requested a report on the city’s long-term debt outlook for the March 19 workshop and plan to vote on the engineering funding by the end of the month.

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2 comments:

  • sabot7 posted at 12:38 pm on Sun, Mar 10, 2013.

    sabot7 Posts: 7

    This has to happen, the traffic here is too much for this small place and there is enough land to get it done. With all the future projections about the population growth in the area, the city will need to expand. I must say I don't see the future growth, I see Fort Hood troop levels drawing down which will result in a exit of military families, empty homes and i think, so where will the growth come from. The new Texas A&M Campus? Will this draw others into the community? i just don't see it happening in the future, there are no good jobs in killeen outside of Fort Hood that can draw the type of growth the area needs. If the city wants growth, they need to draw some large factories who will come in here and provide good paying jobs for the community, it's time to stop living off the coat tails of Fort Hood. I come full circle, so what does Killeen have to offer for those companies who could come here, provide good paying jobs and contribute to Killeen? What's the answer, it's not Fort Hood, it's outside of Texas, draw those companies into Killeen, we are a great community with lots of History. I just hate to see the same old thing, nothing but talk and waste.

     
  • Viktor posted at 9:46 am on Sun, Mar 10, 2013.

    Viktor Posts: 317

    Mayor doesn't want to do it if we can't afford it? City has been able to afford huge water waste all these years to water municipal golf course. After all these years a solution on that total waste of precious water has finally come to fruition. If its less expensive to expand Trimmier with the 190 expansion then just do it! Quit thinking of jamming businesses like proposed CVS on Trimmier if you can't spare the money to expand it. Cut the funding to KEDC which has done next to nothing to bring in jobs to the area & start looking at impact fees. These people want to grow Killeen while sticking to the old way of managing money woes. Dark Ages ended in the 15th century but Killeen's government wants to act like times of scarcity are still ongoing. Cut the waste & the money will be there. A CPA can surely offer a better solution to manage money rather than don't do it if the money's not there.