Many veterans rely on the Central Texas Veterans Healthcare System in Temple, but if those veterans can't drive, getting to the hospital can be a lot more complicated. Two of the three intersections near the hospital do not have signals telling people when to walk and locals said it is a problem.
"I'll see people with wheelchairs trying to get to the V-A, and it's kind of treacherous," Temple College student Edmundo Alvarado said. "If there was a light so pedestrians can cross easier it would be a lot safer for everyone."
The City of Temple is working to correct the problem with a $15 million improvement project. The project will go from Avenue M to Temple College and will include large sidewalks, landscaping, a median, and clearly defined crosswalks on both edges of the medical complex.
To make the project happen, the city applied for a TIGER grant with the U.S. Department of Transportation. The grant will award $10.5 million and require a match of $4.5 million from the city, but it is not a sure thing.
The city will find out if they were selected for the grant in the summer of 2018. Even if the city does not get those funds, it will still move forward with the Veterans Memorial Drive project in 2020. Getting the grant could, however, get the project done faster.