Forty-six million dollars is making a ten year difference in Lubbock. The Metropolitan Planning Organization asked the Transportation Commission for $35-million to finish the Marsha Sharp Freeway project. On Tuesday, the group came back with $11-more-million. NewsChannel 11's Jennifer Vogel explains what this money means for Lubbock drivers.
The Texas mobility fund gave Lubbock more money which means the cones and construction you see will be off the streets in half the time. Randy Hopmann from TXDOT says, "We will be able to build 20 years of projects in 10 years."
A project cut in half, with money to spare. Tom Martin, Chairman of MPO says, "We found out this morning that the commission has approved releasing that money but it's $46-million instead of $35-million. We got an additional $11-million. That's great news."
The Metropolitan Planning Organization has been working all year to get to this point, finding a means to an end for the Marsha Sharp Freeway project. Martin says, "Now the construction is starting on phase 5 which is 289 to Wolforth in 2012."
2012 is the year phase five will be finished. Originally, that last phase was supposed to begin in 2024, but thanks to the new funding, the final date has been cut by over a decade. "We've moved the schedule up by 12 years, and hopefully by 2014 we'll be completely through with the freeway project."
Although years have been cut off, you can expect more construction in the years to come. TXDOT says, "there will be more construction barrels, we ask everyone for their patience, but it is a sign of progress."
To fund many of the other future projects, the MPO created a local financing option where the city of Wolforth, City of Lubbock and Lubbock county will issue up to $60-million in bonds that will be reimbursed by the state. Some of those projects include upgrading Spur 327 to freeway status, building overpasses on Frankford and Milwaukee, and widening 19th and 4th street on the Loop.
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