Work begins today at the gate accessing Fort Hood from East Range Road, the third major road renovation project now underway on the installation.
The two other projects, Phase One of the North Clarke Road reconstruction project began in December and the repaving of Tank Destroyer Boulevard, which started earlier this month, also continues.
The gate closure on East Range Road will last approximately three weeks and is needed as extensive work will be completed to improve safety of the roadway, according to Fort Hood Director of Public Works Brian Dosa.
“The road closure on East Range Road ACP (access control point) will … last until Feb. 11. This is to allow us time to excavate the road and replace the current two 30-inch culverts with a much larger box culvert that will carry storm water under the road,” he said. “Currently, we get major flooding on the road during storms, which creates an unsafe condition for motorists driving to and from (the) 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade’s campus and training ranges and areas on the east side of post. This project was complicated by the number of utilities, both electric and gas, that needed to be relocated to install the new culvert.”
Work continues on Tank Destroyer Boulevard, limiting traffic to a single lane in both east and west directions.
“We’re working over near the Mayborn Gate on the east side of post, and we’re going to continue with what they call ‘mill and overlay,’ which is replacing the top layers of asphalt for a wearing surface which will improve our roads over time for longevity,” Michelle Lenis, chief of DPW’s Construction Management Branch, said in an interview with the hosts of Fort Hood’s Great Big Podcast. “We’ll be going all the way to 72nd Street with that project … almost three miles of road.”
Once the Tank Destroyer renovation project jumps over T.J. Mills Boulevard, Lenis said Wratten Drive will temporarily shut down for needed repairs as well.
“We’ll be shutting down the north part of Wratten Drive and doing full repairs on that road while we’re crossing over T.J. Mills so we only have to impact traffic once,” Lenis said. “Starting Feb. 3 … you will not be able to get onto Wratten Drive from Tank Destroyer.”
Lenis said Wratten Drive will be closed to traffic for approximately a month and a half.
Likewise, the North Clarke Road Gate accessing the main post and the Truck Inspection Facility adjacent to it remains closed as Phase One continues there. Commercial vehicles delivering to the installation are now using an inspection facility at the South Clarke Road Gate entering West Fort Hood, and entering main post via a detour roadway.
Looking ahead, Dosa said traffic heading to and from West Fort Hood will be impacted when Phase Two of the Clarke Road renovation begins later this spring.
“This work will start later this spring when Phase One, north of Interstate 14, is complete,” he said. “For the people who work on West Fort Hood, we have some good detour routes planned to lessen the impact.”
While motorists are impacted by the three projects currently underway, Dosa said it is necessary for the post to continue to upgrade its roadways as needed.
“Fort Hood is a city with thousands of motorists coming and going across post every day. Our goal is to keep our roads safe and in good driving condition,” the director of Public Works said. “With more than 450 miles of streets and roads, it is a nearly constant process. Consider it short-term pain for long-term gain.”
Dosa noted that even after the three current projects are completed, there is more work to be done on the horizon.
“Longer term, we will need to repave East Range Road from Murphy Road to the access control point (gate). This section of road is in very poor condition, so full depth repairs of the base will be required,” he said. “This means a longer shutdown. We are still developing this project and looking at possible detour routes to lessen the impact on Soldiers and families.”