The northwest section of Loop 289 is up for another upgrade. Last week the City Council approved $3,655,160 as part of a partnership with TxDOT to reconfigure the interchange of North Loop & Quaker.
That's also the convergence of Erskine Street and Texas Tech Parkway. Previous public records have said that better access, especially along Erskine, would help development in that part of town.
"It's the last big area available for housing in the Lubbock ISD," Mayor Tom Martin told KCBD NewsChannel 11. "It will help bolster LISD's enrollment."
The interchange is part of a larger series of projects called the Northwest Passage.
Martin said "The environmental studies have been done on that entire set of projects in the Northwest Passage," and that will save some money.
Drivers already know that the intersection of Erskine and North Quaker is a headache.
"The current interchange is an old style interchange," Martin said. "There's no turn around. So, the new interchange will have a full six lanes under the loop plus a Texas turn-around."
The Mayor says the portion of Erksine west of Quaker will no longer be cut off from east of Quaker. The interchange solves that problem as well.
Lubbock's share of the project is coming from money left over from lower-than-expected costs of the new overpass at Slide and the West Loop. TxDOT's portion of the funding came from Prop 12, which was approved by voters statewide in 2007.
Construction costs are estimated at more than $29 million, not including the engineering expense. Public records from the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) say the project could go to bid in June or July of this year.
Copyright 2012 KCBD NewsChannel 11