Copperas Cove officials learned last week that the U.S. Highway 190 Bypass project is running about $1.1 million over budget.
The cost increases included $294,308 to move a water main, which had been left out of the original plans, and $611,122 in additional dirt work required to relocate a landfill in the path of the highway.
“It’s definitely not a bill I like to see, but we have been planning for overruns on the project and we do have some funds available,” Copperas Cove City Manager Andrea Gardner said.
Gardner said the city may have the option to pay off the additional cost over two years.
The $46.4 million project will create a new two-lane U.S. 190 route south of Copperas Cove. Construction began in July 2011 on the project, which is expected to be completed in the fall.
Gardner said there were a lot of unknowns when the Texas Department of Transportation made its original estimates in 2011.
In August, crews began removing a 12-acre landfill to make room for the new two-lane road.
Landfill trash is often covered in several feet of dirt and left to decompose. Unless the trash is removed, over time it will compact and can cause shifting in the soil.
When TxDOT began excavating trash from the landfill, it discovered the trash was buried in deep trenches, which required extra digging, Gardner said.
“Every time you encounter issues of that nature, you are going to incur costs,” said Ken Roberts, spokesman for TxDOT. “As much planning as you do, there are still some things that are unknown.”
Other change orders included a $29,194 storm drain work, a $14,926 cattle guard and $28,589 in additional material costs.
The change orders will not impact the fall completion date of the project, Roberts said.