Drivers looking to take off from Killeen may be able to reach the airport faster if city plans for an improved highway system are finalized.

Killeen took another step-closer to making this project a reality by making an agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation to fund a highway interchange between State Highways 195 and 201.

The city council approved financial terms negotiated by the city that allow it to become part of a pass-through-toll agreement at its meeting Tuesday.  That means the city can receive money from TxDOT based on the number of vehicles using the road.  the agreed rate is set at 6 cents per vehicle mile.

The agreement also calls for the widening of SH 201 to four lanes from the Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport until it intersects with SH 195, where the interchange is planned.  the new roads also will lead into a key development area, including the future Texas A&M University-Central Texas campus.

According to a council resolution, the agreement has TxDOT giving the city more than $13.5 million during a period of 10 to 20 years.  Early estimates show that the money might be paid back in about 15 years.

The council next will have to vote on a final pass-through financing agreement that will incorporate its approved financial terms.

By Anthony Scott, Killeen Daily Herald.