Harker Heights resident David Cline delivers the newspaper everyday to Killeen’s Stagecoach Road — a street in need of repair just three years after it was reconstructed.
After the Herald posted via Facebook a story on a lingering lawsuit involving the road, Cline commented the drive is “getting worse.”
“For the amount of money and time they took (it) is totally unacceptable,” Cline said.
In 2018, a Killeen-based contractor claimed the city refused to pay the firm in full for two major road-widening projects, including Stagecoach. The slow-moving civil suit is filed with the 146th Judicial District Court in Bell County, and the latest notation on the case was in April 2019, according to court officials.
McLean Construction, Inc., filed the suit on Feb. 23, 2018, alleging the city did not pay $825,365.21 for work on the Trimmier Road Widening Project and phase two of the Stagecoach Road Reconstruction Project. Both projects cost a total of $23.8 million — $17 million contract for the second phase of the Stagecoach Road and $6.38 million for the Trimmer Road widening.
The work widened Stagecoach Road from a two-lane road into a five-lane with a center-turn lane and an 8-foot sidewalk. During construction, there was asphalt failure in a mile-long stretch from West Trimmier Road to the west.
In its complaint, McLean faulted shoddy design work by the city for the asphalt damage and said any repairs added to the city’s “punch list” were outside of the firm’s contracted scope.
When an update story by the Herald was published Jan. 29, readers took to social media and other correspondence to voice their thoughts on the ailing road.
Killeen resident Tammy Brice told the Herald she lives in the Yowell Ranch subdivision, located off Stagecoach, and has experienced numerous car issues due to the road’s current condition.
Michael Cotten, a Killeen resident, commented on the Herald’s Facebook page that it “sound(s) like the city didn’t do a good job of laying out the contract. Worse than amateurs.”
Ray Natal commented on the same post that Stagecoach is “... the most horrible road know(n) to mankind.”
Heights resident Bernie Foster said through Facebook, the cost to repair Stagecoach “will fall on the taxpayer.”
“The taxpayer ends up paying for those that don’t do their jobs in planning and zoning,” he wrote.
When asked about the lawsuit, the city’s communications director, Hilary Shine, said the city “does not comment on current litigation.”
“Stagecoach Road is the subject of current litigation … (and) is not included in the FY 2020 to 2024 Capital Improvement Plan,” she wrote in a Feb. 5 email.