By Kierra Pixler, Managing Editor
The Texas Department of Transportation is considering route changes to Highway 190 and is asking for public comments on the proposed changes through an online poll. The Killeen-Temple Metropolitan Planning Organization is seeking to create the most efficient road network, and there are now five new route options that are up for debate.
TxDOT and KTMPO held an open house on Nov. 30 at the Bell County Expo Center to hear feedback on the proposed route changes, which include “upgrading and possibly relocating US 190 between FM 1670 (west of I-35) and the Rogers Relief Route north of the city of Rogers in Bell County,” according to a fact sheet about the open house.
The open house is part of a larger study by TxDOT and KTMPO called the US 190 Feasibility Study, which began in the spring of 2017 and is expected to end during the spring of 2018. During this time, they will choose the best options based on the open house, the online survey and input from technical and engineering studies.
Once the study narrows down the five proposals to fewer options, the next step is to run an environmental study and design the schematics of the change. This next step takes an expected two to three years and will only occur if KTMPO is awarded enough funding. Actual construction will most likely not take place for at least five years, according to the fact sheet.
The fact sheet states that the feasibility study does already take into account some environmental factors, “including water resources…land use and parkland, archaeological and historic resources, right of way (ROW) analysis and land cost, threatened and endangered species, vegetation and wildlife, and hazardous materials.”
It also states that although the 190 study is a more regional project and is separate from the I-14 project, they may eventually join together. All of these aspects of the overall project will be decided on after the feasibility study is complete.
The online poll first asks citizens what their top three priorities for the project are, with options like preserving farmland and having the most direct route. It then provides the five different route choices that are up for debate and asks for a ranking of one to five stars. Lastly, it asks about personal routes and traveling frequency. Each step of the poll allows for comments.
The poll can be found at https://us190.metroquest.com/, and you can find more information about the project from the KTMPO website, https://ktmpo.org/roadway/us-190-feasibility-study/.