The City of Killeen has an approximate population of 137,000 people and is steadily increasing. The needs for alternative transportation are growing with the population. The City’s Killeen Temple Unified Trail System to serve various destinations identified the need to connect the existing Andy K. Wells Hike and Bike Trail with the City’s downtown. To address this need, the City of Killeen applied for and received a grant from TXDOT to both extend the Andy K. Wells Hike and Bike Trail to the downtown area as well as improve the downtown area with ADA accessible sidewalks, ramps, street crossings and streetscaping additions.
Walker Partners teamed with the City of Killeen to secure the TXDOT grant and undertake the extremely demanding and multifaceted design of both the Trail and the Downtown Beautification.
The primary goal of the project was to connect the existing Andy K. Wells Hike and Bike Trail located on W.S. Young Drive and Nolan Creek to the project area for the Killeen Downtown Beautification and Streetscaping Project. An earlier design had included a pedestrian bridge and trail that circulated through City property located east of 28th Street and between the BNSF Railroad and Nolan Creek. The proposed pedestrian bridge was not planned to be constructed above the 100 year flood elevation for Nolan Creek and would have been subject to damage from flooding. Walker Partners redesigned the pedestrian bridge above the 100 year flood elevation and aligned the proposed trail to extend to 28th Street and continue west along Avenue G to 8th Street before turning north across the BNSF Railroad and into the project area of downtown. This required the difficult task of acquiring the approval of the trail crossing of the BNSF Railroad as well as making the entire project meet all ADA requirements. Walker Partners also worked with Integrated Environmental Solutions to meet the environmental assessment and requirements associated with Nolan Creek.
The City of Killeen has struggled to put a new and refreshing face on the downtown area. There were numerous naysayers that said that the improvements designed for the downtown improvements were a waste of taxpayer money and nothing would be accomplished. Walker Partners rolled up their sleeves along with the City Director of Transportation and the Killeen Downtown Development Committee to design the project collaboratively.
The Construction process was long and the weather uncooperative at times, but Walker Partners stayed on board throughout the process until the project was complete. The City had a well attended grand opening of the beautified downtown area that included ribbon cutting ceremonies, food trucks, live entertainment provided by Walker Partners and speeches by various dignitaries. In addition, developers have flocked to downtown Killeen to open restaurants, cafes and other professional businesses. Real estate values have greatly improved and the area is thriving.
completion date: 2013
location: killeen, tx