Downtown beauty starts with underground project - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Downtown beauty starts with underground project

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

One of the biggest complaints about downtown Lubbock is the ugly nest of wires poles and transformers from two electric systems.  In about a year, that's going to change. 

Until late October of 2010, Lubbock Power & Light competed against Xcel Energy and each had its own electric distribution system.   To most, the double system is just plain ugly especially as viewed in downtown.

Now that LP&L has purchased Xcel's customer base inside the city limits, the way is clear to give downtown Lubbock a facelift.  Lubbock is out for bids to move the above-ground utility lines underground for a significant portion of the downtown.  It won't just be LP&L power lines; phone lines, water lines, sewer lines and gas lines will all share a common underground trench.  Companies interested in doing the project have until October 31st to submit a bid, and then 10 months or so later the work is scheduled to be done.

Mayor Tom Martin said the exact cost is not known but it run in the millions of dollars.  He also says it's paid for in part by a federal grant with the rest coming from Lubbock's downtown TIF, or Tax Increment Financing district.  So, the majority of Lubbock taxpayers are not on the hook.

Copyright KCBD NewsChannel 11.  All rights reserved.

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