Bell County in 25 years: Commissioners seek input and suggestions regarding the Thoroughfare Plan

Residents are encouraged to attend a meeting and raise any concerns they may have.
Published: Feb. 16, 2023 at 5:39 PM CST
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BELL COUNTY, Texas (KWTX) - The Bell County Commissioners are holding four meetings to gauge community input in the creation of the new thoroughfare plan.

End goal here is to create a plan that increases the safety of everyone on the road while keeping up with the fast-paced urban growth.

Bell County is one of the fastest growing parts of Texas and our infrastructure has to keep the pace.

Since the last plan was introduced nearly 25 years ago, Bell County’s population has increased by 56% from roughly 238,000 to 370,000.

“This has been done about 25 years ago. The county has changed a lot in the last 25 years,” said Bell County Commissioner Bobby Whitson.

This plan is fairly new but the idea of the new thoroughfare project has been around for years.

“We want to do all of that on paper right now to plan as best we can, on paper, where those roads might need to be, and get that public input,” said Whitson.

Looking at this map, it shows what the Killeen Temple Metropolitan Planning Organization and the commissioners have in mind.

The proposal includes 27 new roads, extensions and connectors as well as changing the classification of already existing roads to fit their traffic patterns and future expansion.

Some landowners in the proposed path worry about the future of their homes.

“We’re becoming more urban and less rural. It would break my heart to know maybe one day, my children, for someone to say ‘hey, you have to move for progress’. This is for progress, and you lose your home,” said Dr. John Kuczek.

KTMPO’s director says it’s a long while before the possibility of anyone losing their home.

“There are a lot of other steps that have to be taken before a road actually comes to fruition,” said Ryan Nelson with KTMPO.

To be proactive, the commissioners are encouraging the public’s participation before the plan is finalized.

“I’d like to see as much public involvement as we can get in this. I mean, as your elected officials we need to know if there’s something we are missing,” said Whitson. “If we have a road in a place that may not be suitable for that landowner, they need to tell us now so we can plan for those things.”

The last two meetings are currently scheduled for March 1 and 2 at 6 p.m.

To view the full proposed plan, click here