TXDOT seeking input on next round of I-14 expansion

Published: Jul. 27, 2023 at 7:21 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 27, 2023 at 7:22 PM CDT
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BELL COUNTY, Texas (KWTX) - Another major road block is being cleared in an effort to build a major East to West interstate through Central Texas.

I-14 is currently only a 25 mile stretch that runs through communities like Killeen and Copperas Cove, connecting I-35 to Highway 190.

In the future, it will span all the way from Midland to Augusta, Georgia.

With construction on I-14 set to start in 2026, TxDOT is getting an early start by publishing a survey on its website, so people have the chance to voice their opinions.

With this survey, TXDOT hopes it helps them get insight into what the community may be worried about or hoping for in this expansion.

It’s going to help TXDOT glean on valuable information that residents and communities that are around this corridor,” said Jake Smith, TXDOT’s Public Information Officer for the Waco district.

“It can provide valuable insight with concerns or opportunities that may help with the project development process.”

In addition to the survey, there’s an interactive map online, where drivers can voice their comments and concerns about certain parts of the highway as it currently exists.

Jason Deckman, Temple’s Senior Transportation Planner, says one of the most asked questions is how this expansion is going to impact daily commutes.

“And ultimately the answer is, the design should make that better. The short term answer is, yes there’s going to be detours, yes there’s going to be work zones, so it’s going to disrupt it for a couple of years.”

While concerns are being voiced, leaders in communities that are along the current I-14 corridor say an expansion of a highway is an overall positive thing.

“Well, I think having gone through the long term growth of an expansion of a highway already, you know they’re glad to have it completed to the point where it is already, to see mainly that connection to 35,” said Scott Connell, the president of the Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce.

“The more we connect to different cities, is a better thing.”

While construction of the roadway is expected to start in 2026, the highway in its entirety could take 15 to 20 years to complete.