Leftover money on 34th? Spend it, committee says - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Leftover money on 34th? Spend it, committee says

In November 2009, Lubbock voters approved $20.8 million to rebuild 34th Street starting at Indiana Avenue and moving east to Avenue Q.  Now, there's money left over, and the question is what do with it.

On Monday morning Lubbock's Bond Oversight Committee said spend it.  Specifically, their recommendation is rebuild as much of 34th Street west of Indiana as possible.  

"The Bond Oversight Committee voted to make a recommendation to [City] Council to extend that as far as the money will take us -- whether that's Memphis, Quaker, or wherever the money stops," said Marsha Reed, City of Lubbock Public Works Director. 

City Council will award a construction bid on Thursday and it looks like $5 million will be left over.  

The original idea before the bond election was to rebuild 34th east of Indiana.  Then later, officials would come back to the voters and request permission to borrow the money for 34th west of Indiana.  Eventually the idea is to have 34th completely rebuilt from Slide to the Interstate. 

The street is asphalt, which normally lasts 30 years according to Reed.  It's now 60 years old.

"Thirty Fourth Street has been in need of reconstruction for many years," Reed said. 

Businesses to the west hope with the extra money, they can be a part of the rebuild sooner than later.

Little Red Riding Hood Nursery has been on 34th near Memphis for 28 years. The owner, Anna Johnson says her sidewalk is cracked and the drainage issue keeps eroding the area even more. Not only that, one of her customers who is in a wheelchair has problems getting around.

"He's having to come out into this road. I'd love to see the handicap access be placed back," Johnson said.

The city says they revitalization will change that making 34th more ADA compliant.

Vintage Rose is another shop nestled on 34th. The owner, Cynthia West-Ward opened two months ago.

"I headed here because this is the friendliest place I found," West-Ward said.

She says the construction will not bother her. Plus since the city plans to add unique lights and brick pavers, she says that will only help bring business.

West-Ward pictures the area looking like Paris once it's finished, just like where she gets her jewelry and clothes from.

The board will bring their recommendation to City Council in about a month.

In the meantime, work on 34th from Indiana to Avenue Q will begin in February or March. It will be done in phases over the course of two years. 

Copyright 2012 KCBD NewsChannel 11.

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