Construction for a new phase of the Outer Loop in Temple is just a few months away.
Temple City Council approved a $5.2 million construction contract Thursday night for Phase 3B of the Outer Loop project. The Outer Loop will extend from north Temple to South Temple, following Old Waco Road.
Phase3B will add sidewalks and other utility improvements between the Thompson Channel to Jupiter Drive.
City Engineer Don Bond said the project has been in the works for several years. The Outer Loop is a six-phase project.
"We need a corridor in West Temple. You're familiar with the rapid pace which West Temple is developing. We've got a lot of new businesses, a lot of new houses going out, coming up out of the ground so we need an expanded roadway," Bond explained.
People who live in the area have noticed the need, too, especially with more traffic on Old Waco Road.
"West Temple is just going crazy," Sarah Kreimeyer, who lives off Old Waco Road, said.
Kreimeyer has lived in the same neighborhood since 1974. Over the last 44 years, a lot has changed in her area.
"[When we moved here] we were here by ourselves. There was nothing around us," Kreimeyer said.
Kreimeyer said it feels like the growth in West Temple happened overnight.
"All of a sudden overnight we got the housing additions across from us and it just got more and more and more," she said.
More businesses and eateries were built along Adams Avenue, and then Tarver Drive was redone. Kreimeyer said all of those have been a factor to the increase in traffic.
Richard Lewis agrees. Lewis grew up in the same neighborhood as Kreimeyer. He left for a few years for college but nine years ago returned and is raising his family there.
"Now there's subdivisions everywhere. There's Walmart, McDonald's, Taco Bell, Freddy's," Lewis said.
He said the amount of traffic along Old Waco Road is concerning and he's ready to see change.
"My children aren't allowed to get near Old Waco Road. Simply because it's not safe," Lewis said.
Lewis said there is not a shoulder and there are no sidewalks along the road, so he's excited to see PhaseB of the Outer Loop complete.
"I know it's going to take some time to make the move to make it safer, but I see that as a positive," Lewis said.
"I'm willing to put up with the inconvenience. I want them to just do it," Kreimeyer said.
Bond said construction should start in August and will take about 250 days to complete.
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