EL PASO, Texas - Construction of the Topgolf facility is well-underway in West El Paso, but the plans could pose a threat to I-10 and Cement Lake.
"This is an example of not properly coordinating what's going on," TXDOT District Engineer Bob Bielek said.
Bielek told ABC-7 TxDOT was unaware of the construction just wast of I-10, until inspectors noticed bulldozers moving dirt. "We got in touch with the city and got in touch with Topgolf and asked them for a drainage study," he said.
Bielek says that study revealed issues that could affect an I-10 embankment and Cement Lake, both located west of the Topgolf site. "We got the study and there were some issues with the drainage study and there were some elements that did not compute with what we do with drainage studies," Bielek said.
Former City Rep. Jim Tolbert told ABC-7 he too is concerned about the drainage issues. "Unless they do something with a drainage plan that will work, it is only going to get worse," he said. Tolbert's main concern is Cement Lake, which TxDOT owns and leases to the Boy Scouts. "Those of us in the environmental community have been trying for years to make sure that lake is preserved," he said.
Tolbert says the recent rains and current drainage system in place has led to a silt problem in the lake. "It has to do with the health, safety and welfare of El Paso," Tolbert said. "Number two is the idea that we need to preserve our open space because it makes the city more valuable for people looking to move or relocate their business here."
Bielek tells ABC-7 TxDOT is in contact with the developers of Topgolf and they are working through plans to construct better drainage plans, which include possibly building a terrace wall with landscaping to keep some, if not all of the water off of I-10 property.
ABC-7 asked Topgolf for comment and was told its public relations firm was preparing a statement. This article will be updated with Topgolf's statement as soon as ABC-7 receives it.