COPPERAS COVE (April 22, 2013)--Another $1.1 million will be needed to complete a 6.2-mile US Highway 190 bypass project in Copperas Cove that was originally expected to cost $46.4 million.
The bypass starts on the east side of Copperas Cove on US 190 and loops around to the south to rejoin US 190 on the west side of the city.
Additional work includes moving a water main and some storm drain work, but most of the cost increase is to relocate a landfill that's in the path of the new bypass.
"As you dig down you, anticipate somewhat of a pit that has to be scooped out and removed, but once we got in, we found that the landfill hadn't been designed in that manner," said Ken Roberts of the Texas Department of Transportation.
"It had trenches, so it did not allow for us to go in the manner that would have allowed a relatively quick and efficient removal replacement and cover."
Copperas Cove city manager Andrea Gardner said the 12-acre landfill was operated by the city until 2001.
About half of it had to be relocated for the project.
"If the city wanted to be able to grow and encourage development and the community, it was a must," Gardner said.
Most of the construction costs are paid by state and federal grants.
The city has to pay about 10 percent of the now $47.5 million project, but TxDOT is allowing the city two years to pay.
Gardner said she's recommending two options.
"They can use the city's reserve funds, which there are sufficient reserve funds available to do, or the council can choose to issue new bond monies to cover the $1.1 million shortage," Gardner said.
Gardner also said it's all worth it in the end.
"I've already seen some change in the spirit within the community, some increased interest in Copperas Cove, and we've also seen what appears to be citizens following the "find it in Cove, buy it in Cove theme,'" Gardner said.
Once the project is completed at the end of this year, the bypass will become US 190, and what's now US 190 will become Business 190.