LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - If you drive in northwest Lubbock expect your commute to change. Starting Wednesday, TxDOT will close a portion of West Loop 289 and 4th street for a massive makeover they say will eventually ease congestion.
"It's going to be rough going. It's 15 months where we will have traffic diverted onto frontage roads," says spokeswoman Dianah Ascencio with TxDOT. If you live and travel around northwest Lubbock prepare for delays and detours. For over a year Loop traffic will be detoured onto the frontage roads between Frankford and Quaker. Crews will demolish both 4th Street bridges and say during construction closing the intersection is the safest way to complete the project.
"You'll have more lanes more u-turns and more capacity on the Loop. I know it's inconvenient but traffic will be much better," says Ascencio.
East bound 4th Street traffic will be detoured onto the southbound Loop frontage roads to the u-turn at Frankford and directed back to 4th Street.
Westbound 4th Street traffic will be directed onto the northbound Loop frontage roads to a temporary u-turn constructed between Slide Road and Quaker Ave. which will allow drivers to cross over the Loop onto the southbound frontage road and head back to 4th Street.
To help ease congestion TxDOT re-paved and re-striped the frontage roads to accommodate three lanes of traffic instead of two. TxDOT plans to turn traffic signals off for north and southbound traffic to keep traffic flowing.
The project also includes a new overpass at north slide road. The project has a $28 million price tag. The city's bill is $13.5 million and the federal stimulus package is paying for the remainder of the project.
Mayor Tom Martin says these projects are necessary to keep up with Lubbock's growth. "It will be much easier for people and businesses to move around and to accommodate the growth that we know is coming in that corridor," says Mayor Martin.
If Mother Nature cooperates TxDOT expects to finish the project December 2010. "Just be patient in the end traffic will flow much better," adds Ascencio.
Another project slated for spring is to widen the Loop from Frankford south to 34th Street to six lanes and reconstructing the 19th Street overpass that means there will be two projects going on at the same time in the same part of town.
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