El Paso

City moving forward with Trailhead projects

Trailhead Project

EL PASO, Texas - The City of El Paso is moving forward with its plan to construct four new trailheads, creating better access to the Franklin Mountains.

Several community meetings were held this week, unveiling the final designs for the projects which were approved by voters as part of the 2012 Quality of Life bonds.

The trailheads would include the Roundhouse and Lazy Cow trails off Martin Luther King Boulevard in Northeast El Paso. In West El Paso, the city plans to build the thousand steps trailhead at the end of North Stanton and the Thunderbird trailhead at the top of Thunderbird Drive.

"They are difficult and at the same time you have to use a lot of technique," Irvin Saucedo said.

Saucedo bikes the Thousand Steps trail in West El Paso with his dad and younger brother every Wednesday. The family of three is open to the idea of the Trailhead projects and they tell ABC-7 they like the idea of designated parking.

"We can go to that side, and that would be a special place for us to stay," Saucedo said.

As part of the final design, the city would add gravel parking, benches and other amenities like water fountains and signage, solar tables, proposed shade trees and restroom concrete pads. The city says the projects would create better access to the Franklin Mountains.

"One of the things that makes this so great is that we have this outlet that's right by these houses, right by an urban area," Aaron Nazarian said.

Nazarian lives near the Thousand Steps trail and bikes there several times a week. He tells ABC-7 he's noticed more people hiking the trail and parking along Stanton. He says he's also open to the idea but doesn't want to see the Franklin Mountains ruined by added construction.

"They should do it well and keep in mind the erosion of the mountain so more of it doesn't get destroyed. So they don't eat up more of the natural habitat."

He says if the project is done right, it'll add to the long term health of the environment and of the city.

"As long as they do it responsibly and take into consideration the environment, I'm good with it," Nazarian said.

The contractor procurement phase will begin this summer, before the city votes to approve it. Construction would begin in the fall and is expected to last six months.

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