Work has begun on what will eventually become an outer loop around Lubbock, Texas, starting with transforming a two-lane rural road into a six-lane freeway.
The entire seven-phase project, expected to take 20 years to complete, has been in planning for more than 10 years, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. On November 8, the department held a groundbreaking on the first two construction phases, covering 4 miles of the planned 36-mile loop.
Phases 3A and 3B are expected to take up to five years to complete at a cost of $155 billion. Sacyr Construction USA of Miami won the construction contract.
The project involves transforming FM 1585 into a freeway with frontage roads, bridges and ramps. The current road handles about 50,000 to 60,000 vehicles a day, and the loop is designed to handle future traffic for the growing city.
Crews will begin work by creating retention ponds at four locations before beginning work on an underground drainage system, according to TxDOT. The DOT plans to keep one lane of traffic open in each direction throughout construction.
Phases 3A and 3B are the first of seven phases along the 12.4-mile Segment 3 of the Loop 88 corridor. Segment 3 extends from U.S. 87 to U.S. 62/82 in Wolfforth and will cost an estimated $600 million.
Phase 3C, which includes the U.S. 87 interchange, is scheduled for construction to begin in 2026.
“We’re excited to finally turn dirt and see the hard work the TxDOT Lubbock District has put into research, public meetings and roadway designs becoming a reality,” said Michael Wittie, TxDOT Lubbock area engineer.
Lubbock Loop 88 will eventually create an outer loop around the west and south areas of Lubbock. Its construction phases are broken down into four segments, with each segment having five different sections. Bid lettings for future phases of Segment 3 are scheduled out until October 2031.