Construction Crowding Lubbock Streets, Drivers Urged to be Patient - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/21/03

Construction Crowding Lubbock Streets, Drivers Urged to be Patient

Lubbock under construction. If you've driven anywhere in Lubbock recently you've probably seen bumper to bumper traffic, long lines and even longer delays. In fact, about a dozen construction projects are clogging Lubbock streets right now.

Some of the more heavily trafficked construction areas include:

  • The interstate from 82nd all the way North to the Lubbock county line.
  • 50th street from about Indiana to Avenue Q.
  • A widening project on West 34th street from Chicago to just outside the loop.
  • The Spur 327 bridge will be extended to connect the loop access road to Slide and of course most of the West Loop is down to one lane for the Marsha Sharp Freeway.

All these projects can obviously cause frustration for drivers.

On Wednesday the Marsha Sharp Project may have even led to a case of road rage. Police say two cars wrecked at West Loop and 50th street. Witnesses said as soon as the white car got out of the construction zone, the driver sped up and cut off the other cars, causing the accident. An officer at the scene said the driver let her frustrations get the best of her.

Fortunately, no one was injured, but it's situations like these that have construction crews asking drivers to slow down and be patient.

According to TxDOT 86,000 cars travel that portion of West Loop 289 everyday. And with this Marsha Sharp Freeway construction underway, it's a tight situation during peak driving times. This is the biggest project underway in Lubbock right now, and unfortunately it will take two years to complete, so workers are asking drivers to be patient.

"Slow down, if they could just slow down everything is so much safer for them and us at a slower rate of speed," said Bill Ratcliff, TxDOT Project Manager.

Project managers for both TxDOT and Granite construction say the projects are well signed, so drivers know to reduce speed...in advance. "The danger factor is if a car's coming up too fast and he comes up on a line of vehicles that person has to decide whether he is going to veer to the left or veer to the right and in this situation if your veering to the left you are coming into our work area," Tom Jones, Granite Construction Project Manager said.

An area that is already tight, for a number of workers and large machinery to move around and complete their job while thousands of cars are flying by.

"Its very important that people be very patient when driving through construction and slow down because it takes a great deal of driver attention to drive through a construction zones than regular roads so if you can find an alternative route do so," says Penny Mason, TxDOT Information Officer.

The project is expected to take 30 months to complete, so if you live or work in this area, it's recommended you find an alternate route or start allowing more time to get around.

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