TxDot Closes Lanes on the West Loop and 19th Street Exit - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

4/18/10

TxDot Closes Lanes on the West Loop and 19th Street Exit

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By Katie Bauer - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Drivers, if you travel in west Lubbock, get ready for more construction and detours. On Sunday road crews closed multiple lanes along West Loop 289, and they won't open for some time.

For at least a year, portions of West Loop 289 will be reduced down to just one lane, and the 19th Street exit will be closed.

This news has some folks living in that area, having to come up with alternate routes and learn to deal with expected delays.

Trevor Boucher lives in the Summertime Villa Apartments right off of the 19th Street exit, and while he lives so close, he says he wasn't even aware a big part of his day was about to change.

"I had no idea, which is not good news so now I'm going to have to change my morning and afternoon commute," said Boucher.

TxDot crews put up signs on Sunday afternoon, to warn drivers to slow down.

The loop is now reduced down to one lane, both north and southbound, from 34th Street to Frankford Avenue. Crews will also be removing overhead sigh bridges and closing the northbound Loop 289 to the westbound 19th Street cloverleaf exit.

"The first thing I think about is that fourth street has already been closed and it's already a nuisance and having 19th closed additional is going to provide more chaos for that particular part of the town," said Boucher.

TxDot advises northbound loop traffic that wants to go west on 19th Street will need to use the u-turn lane at Frankford Avenue.

And as for Boucher, he says his apartment lease is almost up, and he was already thinking about re-locating.

"If they were trying to keep me that's one more thing that's going to be problematic for them having it hard to get too, but that doesn't make me want to stay anymore," said Boucher.

But in the end this work is all part of the West Loop 289 projects that will make more than $17-million of improvements. The loop will be widened from four to six lanes and the 19th Street overpass will be re-built.

"When you get on from the cloverleaf now as it is, you basically merge into oncoming traffic going at 70 miles per hour and adding one more lane will definitely provide a lot more safety, but for the short term, it's not going to be fun," said Boucher.

All frontage road lanes will be open to traffic and this entire project is expected to last for 12 to 15 months.

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