Council Plans Growth for Northwest Lubbock - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

2/21/04

Council Plans Growth for Northwest Lubbock

Growth in Lubbock is not just restricted to the southwest anymore. Soon, other portions of Lubbock will be experiencing the same effects. NewsChannel 11 shows you what the city has planned for development.

"People are moving to Lubbock, jobs are moving to Lubbock, we have an unemployment rate less than 3%, Texas Tech is expanding, and we have to have some place for people to live and shop and work," says Councilman Tom Martin.

If you build it, they will come. Councilman Martin hopes that motto will hold true when it comes to The Gateway Streets Project, a portion of money collected from utility companies will go to the development of the Northwest Passage.

"This is an opportunity for us to use that to invest in our streets to encourage more development within the city," he explains.

Erskine Street, nothing more than a two lane road, will be developed into a six lane thoroughfare as part of the Northwest Passage -- but the construction doesn't stop there.

"By bringing Slide Road across Loop 289 on the northside of the city and upgrading Erskine St. and Ersaline St. into major thoroughfares. We will open a major part of the city for new housing, for new shopping areas, and adding tax base to the city's tax rolls," he said.

Not to mention a new elementary school in Northwest Lubbock that will boost LISD enrollment.

"In addition, we'll provide additional students for the Lubbock Independent School District which would reverse the decline in enrollment they've had in recent years."

The Gateway Fund will work like this: the state of Texas will allot Lubbock $38 million for street improvements which will be paid back to the state with the money generated by the fund, an estimated $3.8 million a year.

"It's more cost effective for the city in the long run to utilize this land now and also to take advantage that we already have land and sewer here, all we need is the streets," he adds.

The Northwest Passage is only part of the growth. The city also plans to revamp southeast Lubbock by connecting Martin Luther King Boulevard to Loop 289 which will allow easier access to the area. The fund goes into effect in October and completion of the Northwest Passage is projected to be in about four years.

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