Residents angry over proposed construction project - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

Residents angry over proposed construction project

Residents angry over proposed construction project

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BELTON – More than a dozen homeowners in Belton said that plans to rebuild a bridge in their community could ruin their way of life.

Residents along Toll Bridge Road believe repairing the broken bridge and widening the street would cause several problems including increased traffic, loss of property, and noise issues.

"I just can't believe the city of Belton is not listening to the landowners and we have spoken with them and we let them know of our feelings that we don't want the bridge replaced," Judy Trader said.

Judy, along with her husband, have lived on Toll Bridge Road for more than 33 years.

The couple bought the old tollbooth house that used to collect money from people crossing the bridge back in the 1800's.

Back in 2006, the old bridge collapsed after an excess amount of traffic went over it. That event changed everything for people living along both sides of the bridge.

"The old iron bridge could not hold all the semis and traffic that was nonstop for hours we couldn't even get out of our drive way," Trader said.

Trader and her husband said they have seen both the positive and negative changes to the area.

"With the bridge being down this has been a dead-end street so we don't have any sort of traffic but for people that live in this area," Trader said.

Trader along with others have gotten used to the peace and quiet that comes with living on a dead-end street, but all of that could end if the city moves forward with the project.

"Its going to take some of our property and we're pretty close to the road itself right now, the increase in noise, we wont be able to get out and take a walk or ride our bicycles. It's going to be very difficult even if they put a 35 mile per hour speed limit along here," Trader said.

Belton public information officer, Paul Romer, nothing has been finalized and the project is still in it's infancy stages.

"Nothing is eminent the city is really just in the discussion stages with TxDOT, we need to see if that is a prudent move at this point but we will listen to everybody in the process," Romer said.

Two weeks ago, TxDOT told city council members the bridge qualified for 90% federal funding. During that hearing, the Police Chief had suggested moving forward with the project because it would offer an access road for emergency situations.

"It will be interesting how this project plays out, the public will have an opportunity to speak and we look forward to hearing the opinions of everybody on this," Romer said.

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