Lubbock County set to start construction on first Road Bond project as South Indiana is completed

Published: Apr. 13, 2022 at 9:42 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - After finishing up planning and design, Lubbock County expects to begin construction on some roads selected in the $99 million road bond proposal approved by voters in May of 2019 within the next several months.

“We’ve progressed in the past couple of years,” Director of Public Works Jennifer Davidson said. “We’re at the precipice of letting those out for construction. A couple of those, we will start construction, hopefully this summer, depending on how prices come in and see how we can move forward with the construction of the roadway bond.”

The update was presented to Lubbock County Commissioners on Wednesday during a work session. Davidson also announced the project to widen Indiana Avenue in South Lubbock is nearing completion.

“That is supposed to be open in May,” Davidson told KCBD. “We just learned that on Tuesday, that everything was on schedule. We’re excited to have that construction complete and under our belt.”

The Indiana project is a partnership with the City of Lubbock. While it was not included in the first tier of projects identified for the $99 million program, Davidson said that partnership allowed it to be fast-tracked.

The first project for Lubbock County to construct is expected to be widening west 50th Street between Upland and Inler Avenue.

“That one is ready to go,” Davidson said. “We are getting ready to let out for construction.”

Below is an embedded report presented to the Commissioners’ Court showing the status of that project and six others.

Commissioners on Wednesday also discussed the issuance of more bond funding. Lubbock County has already issued about half of the $99 million. Wednesday’s discussion was about issuing another $46 million or the remaining amount.

“We do have about five projects that are going to start construction,” Davidson said. “That burn rate or that expenditure rate will continue to increase exponentially as we start construction projects.”

While no decision was made on the matter, Davidson said it is scheduled that another $46 million be issued in Fiscal Year 2023. Commissioners were advised to do so in November to avoid further increasing interest rates.

“There is an ability to issue a portion of that $7 million or the remaining $7 million,” Davidson said. “We would want to see what the impact would be because we do want to make sure that we make responsible financial decisions for the taxpayers.”

Davidson advised commissioners that right-of-way acquisitions were becoming more costly with the rise of property values. She also discussed how she was planning to avoid increasing construction costs. At this time, she said projects were within budget.

“We appreciate so much that the Lubbock County citizens voted in confidence for this road bond,” Davidson said. “We are working to improve our transportation network for the county. We have been diligently working on making those improvements and keeping those projects on schedule. Just know that every day we come and we are working to make those roadway improvements and expend those dollars responsibly to make the improvements that were that are much needed in Lubbock County as it grows.”

To watch the April 13 work session , click here.

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