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City of Lubbock requests ownership of Avenue Q, 19th Street after TxDOT improvement projects

Published: Jan. 19, 2022 at 5:05 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Utilizing the Urban Street Turnback Program, the City of Lubbock has requested the Texas Department of Transportation transfer a portion of U.S. 84 and State Highway 114 to the municipality after two improvement projects.

“They’re actually state highways,” City of Lubbock Director of Public Works Wood Franklin said. “Most people would think that Avenue Q is something very similar to University, to Indiana, when actually it’s a state highway. It is a street that’s acting as an urban street and for TxDOT, it’s the one that maintains it. They control it.”

Franklin said the City of Lubbock has been working with TxDOT for several years to identify the state roadways within the city limits that function more as city streets.

On January 11 the City Council approved a resolution to request TxDOT convey all responsibility for Avenue Q from the Marsha Sharp Freeway to 58th Street or I-27 and 19th Street from West Loop 289 to East Loop 289 but only once two projects are complete.

“They’re going to rebuild the road on 19th Street from I-27 all the way to Memphis Avenue,” Franklin said. “It’s going to be a resurface rebuild and some sidewalk improvements and pedestrian improvements and handicap improvements. They’re also going to be resurfacing the entire surface of the roadway on Avenue Q from Marsha Sharp to the Interstate on South Avenue Q.”

TxDOT also plans a revitalization on Avenue Q from the Marsha Sharp Freeway to 19th Street, including the addition of medians. According to the City of Lubbock, that would remove some of the traffic signals.

“Those projects are going to take place, mainly so that when the City of Lubbock takes those over, the maintenance that required will be deferred for some years,” Franklin said.

Franklin told KCBD other benefits to having ownership of the roadways include controlling traffic patterns and development.

“There are different requirements for a utility, a gas line, a water line, telecommunication line that’s crossing a TxDOT roadway versus a city roadway,” Franklin said. “It’s just going to remove a little bit more of some bureaucracy. I think we’ve worked really well with TxDOT. It hasn’t been an issue, but it will just shorten the process of getting some of those things done.”

The improvement projects will need to be completed and the transfer will need to be approved by the State of Texas before the City of Lubbock owns the roadways. He expects the transfer to be complete in 2025.

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