Copperas Cove: Railroad underpass planned

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COPPERAS COVE, Texas (KWTX) Plans for a train underpass are in the works for Copperas Cove, a city that has faced several dangerous train incidents in the last year.

(Photo by Kathleen Serie)

In March, a teen was hit and killed by a train while walking on the tracks near Copperas Cove High School.

"That loss of life always heightens the concerns that the city has,” Copperas Cove City Manager Andrea Gardner said.

In September, a Copperas Cove school bus stopped dangerously close to the tracks while a train crossed, which has once again brought attention to the topic of train safety.

There are currently no underpasses or overpasses at any railroad crossings in Copperas Cove, meaning pedestrians often have to cross the tracks.

That’s where a proposed train underpass comes into play.

It would be across from the city park, giving pedestrians a way to pass by the tracks safely.

"Those children that go to the high school that have to cross over the tracks to get there by foot are going to, from time to time, encounter a train, and we want to make sure that they have the ability to cross over in a much safer manner than what is presented to them in the current day,” Gardner said.

The city has proposed a train underpass for state funding consideration for several years on the Metropolitan Transportation Plan.

"The region has already determined that the project is important enough to include in the plan, now, it's just a matter of when the funding will become available, and if it's the highest priority project when that funding is available,” Gardner said.

If approved for state funding, the project would cost about $6.5 million.

Gardner said the city may also make a proposal to the BNSF Railway to close other train crossings if the underpass is approved.