The El Paso City Council will be swapping funds with the Texas Department of Transportation to complete transportation projects.
TxDot has $10,000 to improve the I-10/ US 54 Interchange at the Spaghetti Bowl and to improve some downtown bridges. The project would include adding aesthetic towers at the Spaghetti Bowl interchange.
However, because TxDot's funds are discretionary, the law doesn't allow the state to use the specific moneys for the spaghetti bowl or downtown bridges because they don't have pedestrian components.
The city has some pedestrian projects ready for funding. So TxDot is going to use the city's money and the city is going to use TxDot's money to get their respective projects done.
The City will be swapping $8.8 million of Certificates of Obligation already allocated for it's street capital improvement plan. The Regional Mobility Authority is going to add $1.1 million to the City's contribution.
But City Rep. Michiel Noe and the rest of City Council want to reevaluate what the city uses TxDot's money for, so that it's not only for aesthetics but for practical purposes like lighting major arterials.
"It's like going and somebody saying 'look at how much I spend at this sale at half price and none of it I needed. You didn't save any money, you got a good deal on something you didn't need. There's are things the city actually needs. If we're going to be putting debt our taxpayers I want to make sure it's committed to things the City needs as well," said Noe.
Once it exchanges the projects with TxDot Council is going to re-evaluate the use of the money so that it's allocated on necessary lighting projects on medians and major arterials throughout the City and improves safety.