$5.3 million will soon be spent to make roads more safe in the Lubbock area. It's part of the largest highway improvement project ever in Texas.
$600 million will be used to widen roads among other safety adjustments. The money will fund about 644 projects state-wide. Here in Lubbock, we'll see a few changes exclusively on farm to roads. "Wider highways mean safer traveling for a motorist," explains Penny Mason from the Texas Department of Transportation.
In the Lubbock area, almost 50 miles of country roads will be widened in an effort to lower the number of traffic deaths and injuries. "Safety is really a priority with TXDOT and this is one of the things that we feel like will make traveling safer, to have wider highways," says Mason.
Three country roads in Lubbock county will be widened including farm to market roads 1294, 1729 and 789. Across Texas, over 20 years, these changes are expected to save 1,800 lives and prevent 21,000 injuries. "With this $600 million we're able to go in and do a lot of things that we might not have been able to do before," explains Mason.
Other counties in the area affected will be Hockley, Hale, Parmer and Yoakum. In Crosby County, safety treatments on U.S. Highway 62 are scheduled to begin in September of 2005. This, as a result of the Legislature in 2000 allowing TXDOT to sell bonds to fund highway improvements.