The largest single construction project in the history of the South Plains will soon add 6,000 jobs to the area. Those jobs and the second phase of the Marsha Sharp Freeway are set to start next spring.
The second phase will go from Fourth Street & Avenue L all the way to Salem Avenue. Which is about five miles. And experts say this phase alone will have a significant impact on Lubbock's economy. "It is the largest single construction project ever undertaken by the Texas Department of Transportation," explains Randy Hopmann from the TX Dot.
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Hopmann says the benefits will go beyond Lubbock, pumping $500 million into the entire South Plains economy. "It's a very significant project for us because Brownfield Highway, fourth street, all of those roads where the Brownfield Highway runs are major, so it's a heavy traffic movement in that area," he explains.
That traffic will go right through the Texas Tech campus but Hopmann says construction will allow traffic to flow steadily. "We specifically approached this project in how we phased it, how we're going to deal with traffic during the construction of the project with that in mind of moving traffic through the project limits with minimized inconvenience to the traveling public," he says.
When this second phase is complete, about four years from now. Experts say the Marsha Sharp Freeway will be about 3/4 complete.