A 2.5-mile road reconstruction on Tank Destroyer Boulevard, one of the installation’s busiest thoroughfares, was completed last month while many of the post’s troops and employees remained in their residences during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re making some exciting progress on road construction during the COVID-19 situation,” Brian Dosa, director of Fort Hood’s Directorate of Public Works said April 30.
“It’s been a lot easier, with less traffic going around us,” Michelle Lenis, chief of DPW’s Construction Management Branch, said during a taping session Monday for today’s episode of Fort Hood’s Great Big Podcast. “We’ve been able to be a little bit more aggressive getting things done. During (this time), we actually shut down the intersection of Tank Destroyer and 72nd Street, which would have been unheard of at any other time.”
In addition to the $3.2 million Tank Destroyer project, Lenis added that two culvert systems have also been completed on East Range Road.
And more work is ongoing at the Great Place.
The street on the west side of 1st Cavalry Division Headquarters is undergoing a $2.5 million reconstruction project. When the project started, DPW found a surprise.
“When we dug in, we found an old abandoned road … an old concrete road (under the surface),” Lenis said. “We’ve had to excavate out the road and completely reconstruct these segments.”
She said that old road under the surface was the cause of so much cracking on 72nd Street over the years.
“That road has been in horrible condition,” Lenis said, adding that DPW hopes to be done with the current phase “around mid-June, and the southern side, between Battalion Avenue and 761st (Tank Destroyer Battalion Avenue) by mid-August.”
Road repairs are underway on Clear Creek Road, a 1.5-mile stretch from West Range Road to Old Ironsides.
“Right now, we’re on the first segment, which is from Turkey Run to West Range Road,” Lenis explained. In this section, a 25-foot pit has been dug out to build a culvert system to fight against future flooding.
The section of road where the culvert system is being emplaced is impacted by Lake Henry.
“Lake Henry constantly tops over, and it’s not uncommon during a rain event to have two to three feet of water rushing across that road. It’s a major safety concern,” Lenis said. The culvert system going in now will change that.
“It’s a permanent solution,” she said. “We believe that’s going to allow water to go underneath the roadway and we’re not going to have any more issues.”
South Clarke Road
With North Clarke Road complete, DPW is tackling the other half of the reconstruction project.
“We’re now on the south side, on West Fort Hood,” Lenis said of the 1.1-mile stretch of road currently being reconstructed. “We’re working from the (access control point) to Ammo Road.”
She said this reconstruction effort will not only fix the roadway, but widen it, as well.
“We had 12-foot lanes, a 24-foot road,” Lenis explained. “We’re increasing it to a 32-foot-wide road and (up to) 44-foot where we put in turn lanes.”
Lenis said the new road will include four-foot bike lanes on each side. This section is expected to be completed by mid-June, with the entirety of the $5.3 million Clarke Road reconstruction project projected to be finished in September.