The personal impact of Loop 88

The personal impact of Loop 88
Loop 88 (Source: TxDOT)
Loop 88 (Source: TxDOT)
Loop 88 (Source: TxDOT)
Loop 88 (Source: TxDOT)
Loop 88 (Source: TxDOT)
Loop 88 (Source: TxDOT)
Loop 88 (Source: TxDOT)
Loop 88 (Source: TxDOT)

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - There is no doubt Lubbock is seeing the progression to the south and west sides of the city. New housing and businesses including Academy, Dominoes, and even a United Super Market.

The growth has TxDOT making the decision to build an outer southern Loop on FM 1585.

The loop will run along FM 1585 and then go north and run along the west side of Lubbock, forcing the relocation of 62 commercial and 75 residential properties.

A $360 million project to convert the existing two-lane road to an access-controlled four-lane divided freeway, better known as Loop 88.

This is a project TxDOT has been working on for years.

The 1st phase was a feasibility study that explored the need for a new road around the city that included the South and West side of Lubbock, that was concluded in 2010.

The 2nd phase was a 15-month study including traffic, societal, and environmental analysis to determine a preferred route.

They are now in the 3rd phase which consists of environmental and engineering studies.

Although this has been discussed for a while residents and business owners say they had no idea it was going to happen until they had already built or moved to the area.

"I found out about the loop actually after we moved into the house. We moved here in about 2015 and we came back to Lubbock because his family is from this area and we wanted to be close to family. No one mentioned to us in the home buying process that this was even a thought down the road," said Pauline Franklin, a resident in the path.

Pauline and her husband planned to retire here and hoped this house would be the last one they bought, but with the loop going in they aren't sure they want to stay.

"I really thought that this was going to be the place that I could settle down and now I don't know that. I know that if my house was in the path of this construction they would offer me whatever amount of money they were going to offer me and I might be able to get out of it, but I'm so close to the roadway I'm not going to get any money for my property and I can almost guarantee that my property value is going to go down," said Pauline.

Pauline has been to at least three of the public hearings and that's where she met other concerned residents and businesses like dominoes.

The road that will be widened will force businesses like Dominoes to completely move,  and on the other side it will completely back up to yards in Pauline's neighborhood.

Victor Portillo, operations director for Dominoes, says they wanted to provide a pizza service to the south side of Lubbock so they pursued the 1585 location.

They received conflicting information and didn't think the loop was going to be there so they went ahead and set up shop.

"It was probably a year ago that we found out that it's officially coming. There were survey markers all over 1585. They were on our property showing where the road was going to end and so we knew our time here was going to be shortened," said Portillo.

A move that will cost anywhere from 50 to 80 thousand dollars.

"Just to get that transition. Besides the cost of the building and the build-up for the new building," said Portillo.

Pauline and Dominoes both appreciate the growth to the south side but are not going to enjoy the move and the tax dollars that its going to take to pay all the businesses to relocate.

"Yeah, I really enjoy the growth on the south side of Lubbock, it's fantastic. The growth has been great. You know the move, not so fun."

"How many people realize that Lubbock is actually going to bear part of the burden of that cost I think the total the gave the gentleman when he came back and talk to me about it was about $7 million is going to come from Lubbock. So this is something that doesn't just affect those along this route. Everybody in this town everybody in this city is going to face having to pay for this," said Pauline.

TxDOT says they do their best to get the information out to property owners but it's out of their jurisdiction to tell them what to do with their property.

They expect to begin construction in 2021 and estimate the entire project taking 10 to 15 years to complete.

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