Residents worried about disruption from Lubbock Outer Route proj - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Residents worried about disruption from Lubbock Outer Route project

(Source: TxDOT) (Source: TxDOT)
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

The Texas Department of Transportation hosted another public meeting about the Lubbock Outer Route proposal at the Lubbock-Cooper Performing Arts Center on Tuesday.

The purpose of the public meeting was to present proposed project information and route locations and receive public comments.

Many members of the public expressed concerns at the meeting, worried about disruptions to construction and farm land.

The proposed project would upgrade and widen FM 1585, from US 87 to US 62/82, by converting the existing two-lane roadway to a four-lane divided freeway with frontage roads and ramps. Interchanges will be developed at cross streets. Additionally, interchanges and direct connectors will be constructed at US 87 and US 62/82.

The proposed improvements would require additional right-of-way and would result in commercial and residential displacements within the project limits.

Mel Abbe, owner of Sundown Station Shopping Center, is worried about this outer route.

"We started building a little over three years ago," Abbe said. "The north side of FM 1585 a couple of blocks West of Frankford. I'm going to have to rebuild somewhere, and I was hoping this was the last building I was going to have to build and I could live on it the rest of my life…me and my son. "

Jim and Hoot Thomas are brothers who inherited their parents' and aunt's homes that are both in the way of the outer route.

"If you're planning on selling something, regardless of residential commercial or whatever it is," Jim said, "you'd kind of like to know when they're going to do their thing."

Steve Warren, the TXDOT Lubbock District Engineer, said he hopes to have more answers for the potentially affected people soon.

"If we can get through the environmental documentation and get everything approved by say, January or February of next year," he said, "then we will immediately get surveyors out there to start surveying the property and get appraisers assigned."

The Lubbock Outer Route Study is in its third phase of development. The first phase, known as the Lubbock Outer Route Feasibility Study, was initiated to determine the feasibility of an outer route around Lubbock from US 84 northwest of Lubbock to US 84 southeast of Lubbock. The first phase concluded in 2010 with a finding of feasibility for a four-lane divided highway in 2030.

The findings allowed for the study to progress to phase two to conduct additional analysis to identify a specific route for the proposed highway facility. Phase three will consist of the engineering and environmental studies. During this phase the final alignments will be presented and the preferred alignment for the project will be determined.

Phase Three of the Outer Loop will consist of the engineering and environmental studies. During this phase, the final alignments will be presented and the preferred alignment for the project will be determined. Studies will be conducted to define environmental impacts to both the natural and human environmental. Public input/comments will be requested as part of the public involvement process. A public meeting to present the proposed route and route locations to the public and to receive comments is scheduled for Aug. 23, 2016.

Maps showing the proposed project's route and design will be displayed at the public meeting and on the TxDOT website. This information will also be available Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the TxDOT Lubbock District Office, 135 Slaton Road in Lubbock.

TXDOT encourages anyone who did not voice their concerns at this meeting to submit any comments online for them to review: http://www.txdot.gov/contact-us/form.html

Warren hopes to release more details about who will be affected at a public hearing that will take place this winter.

Copyright 2016 KCBD. All rights reserved.

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