Copperas Cove is looking to bring big changes to Business Highway 190 on the city's east side, but not everyone likes the proposed project. TxDOT held a meeting with city leaders and the public Thursday night to give citizens the details and get feedback.
Copperas Cove Mayor Frank Seffrood told Channel 6 hearing what the citizens have to say is an important step.
"Everyone is affected somehow by this project," Seffrood said. "They are either going to drive on it, curse it, praise it, or something else. It's not just a few people. We want the people to come forward and say, 'here is what I don't like, here is what I would like.'"
Copperas Cove wants to covert Business Highway 190 from six lanes to four lanes and use the rest of the space for a median and places for people to walk or bike safely. Seffrood said beautification was also a factor. One of the biggest issues, however, was pedestrian safety.
"We can't walk from one end of town to the other without getting dangerously close to traffic or vying with traffic for space," Seffrood said.
Business owners do have some complaints, however. Many worry that the traffic will be significantly worse and the medians put in place will force customers to make u-turns that they will grow tired of.
Another concern is the effect on 18-wheelers and other large delivery trucks. If the changes take effect, those vehicles will have to drive up to seven additional miles to avoid the medians. Cove Plumbing Inc. President W.B. Maples told Channel 6 the changes would present a huge hassle.
"With a median in front of our business, that will make it difficult for us to get 18-wheelers into our yard," "We also use excavators and and backhoes and things like that. We have to back into our yard, that would cause problems too."
The City of Copperas Cove has been working to make the project work for five years. Mayor Seffrood told Channel 6 the new design is not set in stone, but he said scrapping the project would be an "undesirable action."