Tornillo International Bridge Construction Underway
The El Paso County Commissioners are looking to pump an additional $27 million into the Tornillo-Guadalupe International Bridge when they expecteto sell $110 million worth of bonds next month.
On Monday, construction began on the United States side of the project, which is expected to come with a pricetag of $133 million.
A superintendent with Dan Williams Company, which is charged with building the international border crossing, allowed an ABC-7 news crew on site to see the work being done. Visible to the naked eye, fill dirt is being mounted roughly 20-feet high, part of the approach towards the border fence where a 90-foot wide bridge will cross.
According to Fred Cimato, a superintendent with Dan Williams Company, 40 employees are busy working on the bridge project. As the project moves forward, Cimato said more employees will begin working alongside his current crew.
Across the border fence, however, there are no construction vehicles, no workers\ and no work being done to speak of. According to county commissioners, the Mexican government will be building half of the bridge on their side of the border at a cost of $26.7 million, but it appears as if no work has started.
"The Mexican government doesn't have to build everything at the same time we built it, in the past they've done it fast, so we've agreed on dates and there are no concerns there," said Tania Chozet, a county commissioner who took over the project after former Commissioner Willie Gandara was booked on drug charges.
County Judge Veronica Escobar told ABC-7 she was worried about completion dates less than a year ago, and specifically what work would be done by her governmental counterparts in Mexico, now she has no worries.
"We're so far into the project now and we've cleared so many hurdles, now that we're in the construction phase the more challenging hurdles are behind us," said Escobar.
The Tornillo port of entry is expected to take a little less than one year to build. The plan is to complete the project in May 2013.
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