Plans are underway to pave one of the most travelled dirt roads in the Hub City. But the road improvements to 98th and Milwaukee are not expected for another two years.
"A mess, rocks, and stuff, it's driving on a dirt road," Driver Chuck Hall said.
Those are all things that Hall faces daily during his commute. Hall says the most direct route to work involves turning from Juneau onto 98th Street East bound, where the road fades into dirt.
"At least two or three times a day. Our shop is that direction so I constantly have to go that way. Three years ago the city completed a paving project on Milwaukee up to 94th Street," Hall said.
Lubbock's Director of Public Works Marsha Reed says work stopped there because when it rains the playa-lake grows and can flood the area. It also means a bigger price tag to pave this stretch of road.
"Either some equalizer converters or some bridge type culverts to span the lake or a portion of the lake and that also drives cost as well. We were aware of the severe drainage issues," Reed said.
But it appears the funds may be available to pave forward. Currently the city is looking for engineers to design projects that would pave more than four miles of road. And just for designs, the work, relocation of utilities and right of ways Reed says the two projects will cost about 4 million dollars. But that does not include construction costs.
"The two projects will include all of Milwaukee from 94th to FM 1585 and 98th Street from Milwaukee to Frankfort and Frankfort from 98th to 114th Street," Reed said.
A transformation from dirt to pavement, it's an improvement which Hall says can't come soon enough.
"I would love for it to get fixed. When it rains you can't even go that direction," Hall said.
Reed says the condition of this area of Milwaukee is of great concern to the city. So much so, the streets department now leaves a Grater out to blade the road at least once a week. Reed says if the budget is approved as is, paving is not expected to start until 2010.
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