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Bell County approves improvements for Chaparral Road, details next steps for the project

Bell County signed on to the interlocal agreement to improve Chaparral Road Monday. Commissioner Bobby Whitson gives more details on timing.

KILLEEN, Texas — A project that would widen Chaparral Road, and improve traffic around Chaparral High School, is one step closer to going forward. 

The Bell County Commissioners Court has now approved their part of an interlocal agreement to improve Chaparral Road after the City of Harker Heights did the same thing last week.

The interlocal agreement is shared between Killeen, Harker Heights and Bell County, who will contribute nearly $7 million in combined funds. The agreement makes additional federal funding possible though KTEMPO, which will provide $17 million in funding. More information about funding can be found here. 

The City of Killeen is expected to improve the agreement in the first week of October. 

Unfortunately, as 6 News found out Tuesday, the project also requires a good deal of additional work by the City of Killeen. Bell County Commissioner Bobby Whitson said there are still plenty of additional steps before breaking ground.

"Building a road of this magnitude is not something that can happen in a couple of years. There is a lot of land acquisition that needs to be taken into account. You've got a lot of property owners. You have to widen the road, land owners have to move fences," Whitson said.

6 News also found out Tuesday, much of this work remains to be done. Killeen has not settled on a path for the improved road to take at this time and still has at least three possible options. City engineers are still waiting to work with the Freese and Nichols engineering firm to evaluate each option.

While the firm's analysis will affect the decision, it will also be based on what land the city can secure from local homeowners for the path of that road. 

Whitson said the County's preferred option would go directly North of Chaparral high school and would then head Southeast to East Trimmier, but this will only work if land owners agree to it. 

Killeen City Engineer Andrew Zagars told 6 News Tuesday there could be other alignments in the future.

"The design consultant will perform a study on all options to help determine a preferred alignment to move forward on.  This may include new alignments or combinations of past proposals," Zagars said. 

Whitson said it may have been possible to get these steps done sooner. He said the County actually hired Freese and Nichols back in 2020 and they were ready to work with the City of Killeen at that time. 

"The City of Killeen was in the lead at that time. We hired the engineer, the rest of us got out of the way, and it was going to be the city's road. At that point in time the city then lost an engineer and lost a planner," Whitson said. 

Whitson said he doesn't know exactly what stalled with the city but the project would still have been delayed. He said the funding from KTEMPO will not be available until 2025 and that funding is needed for construction. 



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