EL PASO, Texas -

The Metropolitan Planning Organization is now supporting the roughly $400 million Comprehensive Mobility Plan that will bring 16 road-improvement projects to El Paso County.

"Every part of town is going to benefit from this comprehensive plan," said Precinct One Commissioner Vince Perez. "It's going to create a more efficient transportation system, where people will be able to move more efficiently to and from work or home. But it's a good thing that we address these needs now and not wait until our congestion problems get worse in the future."
 
The projects will widen and extend many of the main roads around town. Some of the funding comes from a $10 hike in vehicle-registration fees -- it's hitting more and more drivers as they renew their stickers.

"I think it's a hose job," said resident Hector Chavez. "It's why we pay taxes still, and those taxes are taken out and taken out, and still, year after year, the streets are the same."

The fee increase will repay part of the county's $120 million slice. Transportation reinvestment zones will make up the rest of the $120 million. The Regional Mobility Authority will issue that debt.

Socorro and Horizon City will add another $13 million. The Metropolitan Planning Organization and Texas Department of Transportation will put up the remaining $258 million.

The county approved the upgrades in December. Some of the projects could begin within the year.

"I'm confident that once they see the improvements," Perez said, "they'll understand the benefits and the goals that were behind these projects."

"I do, I actually do," said resident Hector Mendoza, "if it's going to improve the quality of the roads, of course."