TxDOT engineer gives City Council an update on construction progress

TxDOT's Quarterly Update

EL PASO, Texas - TxDot's District Engineer Bob Bielek presented the quarterly update to city council Tuesday.

In his presentation to city reps, Bielek says there are at least 11 projects that are funded, two that are partially funded and nine that are unfunded.

Among the projects, TxDOT is currently conducting an analysis of current and future transportation needs for the El Paso I-10 corridor, from the New Mexico State line. TxDOT's study team is currently collecting engineering, economic, freight and land use data specific to the El Paso region and the I-10 corridor. They have also identified hot spots or potential improvement areas.

"What we're doing is a corridor study along I-10 and that goes from the New Mexico state line to roughly mile marker 55 at Tornillo. And what we're going to do is take a look at the pavement, what needs to be replaced what can be rehabilitated. The bridges, which bridges can be rehabilitated, which have to be replaced, opportunities to increase capacity, to deal with the issue that we've had for some time and that is  lack of frontage roads, through the metropolitan area," Bielek said.

Another study underway is along Mesa. TxDOT is looking at how Mesa can be more friendly to the public, after several deadly pedestrian related incidents. Some possibilities could be raised roundabouts in order to separate pedestrians, cyclists and traffic. The third study ongoing is Doniphan from the New Mexico/Texas stateline to Racetrack Drive. TxDOT is looking at the drainage issues and getting pedestrians to cross Doniphan safely.

Bielek also gave an update on future projects, including the I-10 connect.

"As you could imagine, reconstructing I-10 through the downtown area will have tremendous effect on traffic so we'll have to find ways to get people around," Bielek said.

The project will connect the border highway and I-10 directly and remove the connection from Paisano to the Port of Entry. TxDOT wants to eliminate trucks heading to the inspection facility out of the neighborhoods and onto to the connection directly. The bidding process for the $85-milion project will begin in 2019.

The Mesa Park Improvement Project will add a collector distributor lane to both sides of I-10 and add a connection from Executive to Westbound I -10 back into the system. TxDOT is hoping to finish the $31-million dollar project at the same time as the Go 10.

"The objective here is to finish it at the same time as the go-10 project finishes," Bielek said.

In Far East El Paso TxDOT will take Zaragosa and connect it to Montwood and Loop 375. The bidding for the $10-million dollar project will begin in 2018.

"We are going to push forward with this project, it's an extremely important project," Bielek said.

TxDOT is also working on an interactive website where they will ask drivers for their input, including the challenges they encounter on I-10, and what they would like to see on I-10.

For a full list of projects discussed during Tuesday's meeting click here.


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