Chaparral Road in Killeen poses traffic issues for the newly-opened Chaparral High School

Published: Aug. 23, 2022 at 6:23 PM CDT
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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) - Sixteen years after its original proposal, Chaparral Road in Killeen has gone untouched.

The expansion project, now in limbo, is causing some issues for Killeen ISD’s newest high school.

KISD is making the necessary changes on their end to minimize the traffic buildup but with a new middle school starting construction soon, things could get a whole lot busier for Chaparral Road.

The expansion project first went for approval in 2004 but wasn’t touched due to a lack of funding.

It sat in the unfunded projects list until 2014 where it was then moved to the short funded list.

“Due to the project scope and the amount of funding required, if necessary to get it moving forward we could phase this project which is ultimately what they did,” says KTMPO Director, Uryan Nelson.

Phase one of the plan hopes to expand Chaparral Road from its current two-lane setup to a five-lane thoroughfare with two lanes on each side and a continuous turning lane in the middle.

Eight feet bike lanes are also part of the road’s expansion.

KTMPO says phase 2 and 3 logistics are still in the air.

Now, with the project in limbo, KISD’s newest school is dealing with the after effect.

With students returning to the classroom last week, Chaparral High School, a newly built campus, saw drop off traffic stretch for miles down the road two lane road.

“It was my understanding that cars went back past Featherline, almost to Trimmier on that first day. If you know the layout of everything, that’s several miles back,” says KISD Chief of Police, Ralph Disher.

To help minimize that traffic going forward, the school opened additional drop off lanes and they say it’s worked.

“About the middle of last week, we changed the… creating some additional lanes in front of the school. Then we had to move a few things from the back,” said Disher.

The Chaparral Road expansion project isn’t slated to start until 2025 and that’s subject to change if necessary.

The new middle school is set to start construction soon and it’s expected to be completed by 2025, just when the expansion project is set to begin.

School officials are hopeful that the schools different start and end times will be enough to keep traffic at bay.