Narrows sidewalks

Copperas Cove Mayor Bradi Diaz cuts the ribbon on the 1.7-mile sidewalk project through The Narrows Business and Technology Park on May 5. The project was mostly funded through state grants.

New sidewalks that span approximately 1.7 miles in The Narrows Business and Technology Park will hopefully attract businesses to the area, city officials said last week.

After a ribbon-cutting ceremony, Jonas Titas, executive director of the Copperas Cove Economic Development Corporation, explained what the sidewalks mean to the area from a business standpoint.

“Especially as millennials are getting higher and higher in corporate America, they have different values than previous generations,” Titas said on May 5. “One of the things that we’ve seen throughout the country that has been very receptive to that group is the ability to go outside during their lunch breaks and a safe place to walk, sit down, take a sack lunch, get some fresh air and then go back into work.”

Titas said the new sidewalks can be a talking point the EDC can use to try to attract businesses to the area. The Narrows has generated interest from some industrial companies, but nothing has been finalized.

He added that the EDC is looking to have another trail constructed on adjacent property to help with the appeal of the area.

City Manager Ryan Haverlah said he saw people utilizing the sidewalks — walking, biking, jogging — before they were officially “open.”

Haverlah added that the project will help the appeal of the city.

“There are a lot of people that are getting more outdoors; they want a place to actually physically move, walk, bike,” Haverlah said. “It’s just becoming more of a reality for a lot of people.”

Mayor Bradi Diaz cut the ribbon May 5 to officially “open” the sidewalks.

She took the time afterwards to thank all those involved in the process, including Haverlah, Titas and the contractor for the company: Choice Builders of Temple.

Choice Builders began the project on Sept. 14, 2020, with an estimated completion date of Sept. 13, 2021.

Anthony Beach, senior project manager for MRB Group said the project was also completed under-budget.

“It’s actually a win-win for everybody because the less time a project takes, the more savings there is, because there’s less work for us to do, the construction administration,” he said. “And the shorter period also means extra cost savings and profits for the contractor.”

MRB Group has locations in Austin and Temple, and it is an engineering, architecture and municipal service firm.

The Copperas Cove Economic Development Corporation helped fund the project.

Copperas Cove won a bid from the Killeen-Temple Metropolitan Planning Organization to receive grants for a majority of the cost of the project, which was finally bid at $1.15 million.

The city had to match a total of $229,761.40 for the project, $5,170.98 for change orders, $109,837 for engineering services and $18,750 for the grant administration fee, city officials said.

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