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Temple finds funding for west loop project, starts planning on another

The City of Temple is now working on building new loops on both sides of the city to keep up with future growth. 6 News checked in to see how they are coming along.

TEMPLE, Texas — Temple is working to build an outer west loop and an outer east loop around the city to help manage population growth. Spokeswoman Laurie Simmons told 6 News Thursday that the new roads are badly needed to reduce traffic congestion on West Adams Ave. and other streets connecting to 363 and I-35. 

"The outer loop is really our vision for making that happen. Dealing with our growing population in west Temple and making it easier for them to get from different parts of the city to the interstate," Simmons said. 

The outer west loop project is expanding existing roads and would build new roads through Temple's west side. Most of the construction is slated to start between 2020 and 2023. 

The exception to the timeline is the south-most part of the loop connecting Old Waco Road to I-35. The City of Temple has secured additional funding from TxDOT that could pay for up to 80 percent of the project. After TxDOT got involved, the city began to explore three different routs the loop could take. 

The City of Temple is also holding public meetings to get citizen input on this section.

"With TxDOT funding we really have to go back to the drawing board and figure out which option is best. That is why we are having these public meetings," Simmons said. "Different people want different things and that's part of the process of moving forward and deciding what alignment to take."

Simmons said the major factors in the decision were minimizing displacements, being able to use existing right-of-ways, the cost, and environmental factors. She said another public hearing for this section of the project will take place in July of this year.

Temple is also planning an east outer loop but only had a "conceptual route" at this time. Simmons said the city is working to start the process of getting cost estimates for a potential project and the route has not been finalized or funded for construction so there are no tentative project dates.

The city would need to annex additional county property to build the east loop. 

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