El Paso's Bridge to Nowhere

EL PASO, Texas - From I-10 it looks like an ordinary overpass, but Buena Vista Residents say it's a bridge to nowhere.

"It doesn't go anywhere," remarked former Buena Vista resident Dan Mier. "It goes to that levee and that's it."

What neighbors call a bridge to nowhere was supposed to serve as connector. It was created as a link between two neighborhoods when the Texas Department of Transportation decided to run Interstate 10 right down the middle back in 1969.

"Then the corps of engineers came in because there was a pond there," said TxDOT spokeswoman Blanca DelValle. "Then they built Buena Vista Dam and then the pond dried up and the bridge was closed."

Mier lived in the old town before the land was repurposed and converted to a dam. He and his family moved across the bridge when he was 13.

"I remember when we were teenagers there were a couple of pranks pulled on the bridge there," Mier recalled.

Once a site of childhood hijinks, the old bridge remains under lock and key, sprouting weeds between cracked pavement. Even TxDOT officals agree that the bridge is pointless.

"It doesn't (serve a purpose.) It's just a bridge to nowhere," admitted DelValle.

DeValle insisted that removing the bridge would come with a hefty price tag. "To remove it we would have to close the entire freeway," said DelValle. "It costs much more to remove the bridge."

Mier hopes the city will eventually find a way to utilize the space and the bridge that have been locked for decades.

"What I'd like to see is maybe have it restored to that era ... for the memories," said Mier.

DelValle said TxDOT has no plans for the bridge in the near future.

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