LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Just days after the economic stimulus package was signed into law, some of that money could be headed to Lubbock.
More than $2 billion is in limbo right now as the Texas Transportation Commission decides where to spend it. "There's lots of roads around here that need improvement," said Lubbock driver Don Speer.
There are several road projects locally and statewide ready to go, if only the Texas Department of Transportation had enough funding. Across the state, transportation districts submitted $15 billion worth of projects they hope to get stimulus money for. The state can only fund a fraction of those with the $2.25 billion designated for Texas highways and bridges in the stimulus package. TxDOT expects the state to pick projects at their monthly meeting this Thursday.
The criteria includes projects that will improve safety, have state wide or regional significance, and projects that create long term economic benefits. The Lubbock TxDOT district submitted several projects for stimulus money. "Here, locally we're hoping to get at least $15 million to fund much needed projects in our area," said TxDOT representative, Dianah Ascencio.
They're optimistic the state's transportation commission will choose two particular. The first is the Northwest Passage project, which would extend Slide Road through North Loop 289 and widen Erskine. They also think the commission will choose the West Loop 289 project, which would upgrade the Loop between 4th and 34th Streets.
These and several other projects the Lubbock district submitted are "shovel ready" if the state gives the go ahead. The state must choose which projects to fund quickly because of a "use it or lose it" clause in the stimulus package.
The transportation commission must obligate 50% of the money within 120 days, and the rest within a year. "It's going to put people to work, and it's going to put people to work quickly because these are projects that are ready to go," said Ascencio.
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