Lubbock prepares for $174.5 million street bond election

The Lubbock City Council on Tuesday instructed city staff to prepare for a November bond election, proposing a total of $174.5 million for street improvements that includes Broadway’s bricks.

“These needs are everywhere,” Councilman Jeff Griffith said. “Especially with today’s interest rates, we believe it is time to act this year, put it before the voters. If folks want this, let our citizens approve it. We think our list is strong, as far as the needs. We have spent hours and hours and hours to make sure that these are the arterials that need to be addressed.”

Griffith is the chair of the Future Needs Committee, joining Councilwomen Latrelle Joy and Shelia Patterson Harris to identify needs of the Hub City. They compiled a list of arterial streets they believe need to be improved, costing around $133 million.

“We spent time driving and looking over and not being selfish of our own districts in these matters,” Patterson Harris said. “Just the fact that it’s something to impact the entire city, as Mr. Chadis stated, it is well overdue. I think it is a safety issue.”

Making up the rest of the bond proposal is about $42 million to make improvements to Broadway Avenue’s brick road from University Avenue to Canyon Lakes Drive and build a pedestrian bridge. That bridge will be near Broadway over a creek between Cesar E. Chavez Drive and Canyon Lakes Drive.

“It’s time we started putting some cash into our streets,” Councilman Juan Chadis said. “It’d be money well spent.”

City staff told the council that the tax rate is expected to increase by 3.31 cents if the bond is approved because the city is also issuing around $28 million in certificates of obligation to fund three other projects. That’s debt without voter approval.

Those are to fund the construction of Fire Station 20 in south Lubbock, pave five miles of roads elsewhere in the city and widen Erskine Street from the western city limits to Frankford Avenue.

“We have studied this and are very, very confident these are the needs that need to happen now,” Griffith said. “We should go forward with these projects.”

According to the council, the last street bond election proposal was in 2009.

This bond election discussion took place during Tuesday’s work session. The city council is expected to revisit the subject of the November bond election in its July 13th meeting.

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