Construction on I-27 part of state-wide safety effort - FOX34 Lubbock

Construction on I-27 part of state-wide safety effort

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If you have been driving on the interstate recently, you may have seen some major changes.

The speed limit is now 55 miles-per-hour on I-27, at least for now. 

The construction that began in January is part of a state-wide effort in the name of safety.

"Last year our Texas Transportation Commission authorized an additional $600 million to use for safety projects across the state," TxDOT representative Dianah Ascencio said.

Most recently, TxDOT made safety improvements on the North Loop 289 and Marsha Sharp freeway.

The I-27 project will span 27 miles from Lubbock to New Deal and Plainview.

The cost: $34.3 million dollars.

"We also have projects across the state, that are going to widen shoulders, add rumple strips to the center median of shoulders, all in an effort to reduce fatalities across the state and to improve safety," Ascencio said.

What used to be grass dividing the opposite lanes of traffic, concrete barriers will replace, to prevent the most dangerous kinds of crashes.

"Our goal is to prevent the most tragic types of collisions on the roadway which are head-on collisions that often happen on divided highways," Ascensio said. 

According to TxDOT, 548 people died from head-on crashes in 2018. 

Crews began work around 82nd street, and will slowly make their way north. 

In rural areas, a different type of barrier that uses cables will be put in place.

"Pulling up the existing concrete in the median. We're going to come back and fill that in with dirt, and then we're going to pour some new concrete to level out that surface with the roadway and we'll come in and place our concrete median barriers," Ascencio said, describing the process. 

The entire project is expected to finish in fall 2021. But Lubbock County drivers will see those improvements much sooner. 

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