EL PASO - A heavily used and heavily needed overpass wil soon reopen to motorists.
The Carolina Bridge, which took vehicles over railroad tracks and the Franklin Canal in the Lower Valley, has been rebuilt and is could open on Friday. El Paso city officials said the reconstruction is nearly complete.
Texas Department of Transportation replaced the entire structure. The new bridge will have one lane in each direction, left turn lanes at the Alameda and Stiles intersections, pedestrian sidewalks, on-ramps on both sides of the bridge as well as decorative fencing.
"The previous bridge was congested at times," said District 7 City Rep. Henry Rivera, adding that the two turn lanes will ease congestion.
For months, traffic going to or from Alameda Avenue was diverted to nearby Cadwallader Drive and into a residential neighborhood.
"(Cadwallader) is a very narrow street," Rivera said. "So, you're gonna relieve that traffic. Eventually that will close off and the residents and owners there won't have all that traffic to deal with."
Cadwallader Drive, which includes a railroad crossing, has been designated as a "railroad quiet zone" and will close permanently to eliminate or minimize train horns.
Construction of this Carolina Bridge joint project cost approximately $7.8 million.