LUBBOCK, Texas— The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) closed the left and middle lanes of eastbound south Loop 289, at Quaker Avenue, to traffic on May 1st. The closure allowed crews to safely replace bridge joints, make the deck and concrete repairs, and stage construction equipment.
The heavy presence of construction has caused pileups during morning and evening commutes with many drivers growing impatient. From road rage incidents to improper merging, causing residents to feel uneasy.
“I mean, it’s starting to feel like Dallas,” said Andrea Anaya, a Lubbock resident. “It was very scary, very intimidating, so that’s where we’re at and I believe that the construction has a lot to do with it.”
Logan Victor works at the Pollard Ford near Quaker Ave and said he has seen a lot of commotion since the beginning of construction.
“You got a clear view of the loop and you can just see the traffic backed up all day, especially during lunch and after everyone’s getting off work and then there’s been some wrecks, but it’s just been pretty slow lately,” Victor said.
Sergeant Johnny Bures with the Texas Department of Public Safety said one of the best things to do is avoid distractions.
“Make sure that you put the phones down so that you’re not trying to mess with radios, GPS, or anything that you’re focused on the construction zone and all the merging traffic,” Bures said.
Bures said to also be courteous with fellow drivers, so everyone gets where they need to be, safely.
“Be considerate of your fellow drivers as they’re trying to lane change, give them a little bit of space and grace and let them in, don’t be one of those drivers that are going to wait till the last minute, try and fly past everybody in that lane and then merge at the last second and expect someone to let you in,” Bures said.
TxDOT provided an update on the status of construction Friday afternoon and when it is expected to end.
WESTBOUND: Work to make repairs to the bridge joints and deck on westbound Loop 289 wrapped up today and the tentative plan is to open the main lanes to traffic on Monday, May 22, weather permitting. Equipment to remove the temporary concrete barrier has to be mobilized and that would happen on Monday.
EASTBOUND: Construction crews placed concrete today on the eastbound lanes this morning. The concrete has to cure for four days and will need to be tested on Tuesday to ensure quality. If the concrete meets the quality testing, then plans are to remove the temporary concrete barriers and open all main lanes to traffic on Wednesday, May 24, weather permitting.