City gets nod for more than $12.1 million for Business 190 median, sidewalks
By LYNETTE SOWELL
Improvements to the city of Copperas Cove’s sidewalks on F.M. 116 and F.M. 3046 along with the installation of sidewalks in The Narrows Business & Technology Park and Constitution Avenue are closer to becoming a reality, with the approval of funding by the Killeen Temple Metropolitan Planning Organization.
Those two projects alone were approved by KTMPO for total funding of $1.7 million and $975,000, respectively, of State Category 7 and/or Category 9 transportation funds. The funding comes from slices of a larger estimated $71 million pie for fiscal years 2018-2020 which will be received by KTMPO from the state. KTMPO gave its approval for local projects, including Copperas Cove, in May 2017.
The icing on the cake for Copperas Cove, however, is that it also received approval for $10,000,000 funding for the first phase of the Business 190 median project.
This phase will start at Constitution Avenue and go all the way to the Avenue D intersection.
The Business 190 median has been in the planning stages for years, with the city holding several public meetings during the summer of 2015 for business owners and the public to provide input.
The proposed median project has been received by both residents and business owners with both anticipation and concern, due to the fact that the current center turn lane on Business 190 will be eliminated and dedicated turning lanes will be installed instead. Concerns included the impact on businesses and if emergency response vehicles like the fire department’s ladder truck will be able to negotiate the turns.
The city’s Business 190 Master Plan workgroup was involved with the planning process from the beginning, with the group composed of Business 190 property owners and business representatives, and city staff.
At tonight’s Copperas Cove city council meeting, three professional services agreements with BSP Engineers that are tied to those three projects are up for a vote. The three agreements would cost the city a little more than $1,000,000 and be included toward funding all three projects.
According to the agenda, BSP Engineering has previously assisted city staff with the submissions for all three project applications to KTMPO for funding. BSP was also involved in the planning process more than two years ago.
The first professional services agreement, for the F.M. 116/F.M. 3046 sidewalks, is for $161,000, which will cover basic design services and be funded over the next three years. Along with the engineering costs, the City of Copperas Cove will also pay a 3 percent administration fee.
“The Narrows 2018 Pedestrian Improvements” will be funded with State Category 7 and 9 funds that total $1,700,000. In addition to installing sidewalks along the remainder of RGIII Boulevard, in the business park, along Charles Tillman Way, the project also includes extending sidewalks along Constitution Avenue to join with existing sidewalks near Walmart.
The City is responsible for a match of a portion of the construction dollars in addition to the engineering fees and the 3 percent administration fee, as with the F.M. 116/F.M. 3046 sidewalks. BSP’s preliminary opinion of this project cost is $1,243,941.70. The city’s agreement with BSP will cost $109,837.
For the Business 190 median, the $10,000,000 comes from State Category 9 funds, with the city being responsible for the difference between the award amount and the final cost estimate, as well as the engineering fees and the 3 percent administrative fee. According to the meeting agenda, the Texas Department of Transportation will cover overruns beyond the city’s required funds. The agreement with BSP Engineering is for $784,963, which like the other two agreements includes basic services fees.
BSP has given its preliminary opinion of the budget for the first phase of median to be $6,873,251.90.
The city’s portion of the engineering fees and administrative fees will be covered with future bond issuance, according to the agenda item.
All three projects are part of the 2040 Metropolitan Transportation Plan.