To the right are pictures taken of sound barriers in other cities. The Texas Department of Transportation will be building some in Lubbock. It is part of the new Marsha Sharp Freeway. Construction on the freeway is supposed to begin next year. Even though the cost has increased to more than $200 million, Transportation Planning Director Steve Warren says the money is there to complete at least two phases of the freeway. "The first two projects on the Marsha Sharp Freeway we have secured the necessary funding for those 2003 and 2004 projects.
Business relocations, utilities, and right of ways have contributed to the cost increase. Warren says part of the money will go to building concrete sound barriers what will be up to 11 feet tall. They will be used to separate homes from the new highway along Bangor (between Chicago and 35th St.), Toledo (and 22nd), Vicksburg (27th and Salem), and Fourth streets (University and Avenue Q). Construction for the walls won't happen until 2007.
The Marsha Sharp Freeway will make it easier for drivers to access the downtown area, hospitals, and Texas Tech university from the South Loop to Interstate 27. Construction is expected to take 13 years to complete.