Saturday, June 2, 2012

TxDOT May Fast Track I-10, L-375 Projects

The Texas Department of Transportation could make two large freeway projects a reality within the next few years if expected state funding comes through, according to Texas Transportation Commissioner Ted Houghton in a recent El Paso Inc. interview.

Border Highway West Concept
The first project is a new eight mile Loop 375 extension from Downtown to the west side which could be completed as soon as 2016. Currently, the freeway becomes a boulevard just east of the Downtown international bridges, and ends abruptly at Santa Fe Street. The project would cost an estimated $750M and would be a tolled freeway that would roughly follow the same route as Paisano. The project would extend from Park Street along Downtown's southern border and westward to the interchange at Doniphan and Paisano.

Concept of completed I-10 Project at Sunland Park
The second project would be $150M widening of I-10 on the west side which would include new travel lanes and collector-distributor lanes. In previous TxDOT plans, the travel lanes would continue onto the new Loop 375 west extension at Sunland Park Drive. Collector-distributor lanes would handle on- and off-ramps and "collect and distribute" the traffic without having a slowing affect on the freeway itself. This project would extend from Executive Center Boulevard eastward to North Mesa.

TxDOT will hold community meetings in El Paso this month to inform the public on these the projects. The first will be on June 5 and will cover the Interstate 10 Collector-Distributor Lanes Project. More information can be found here. The second will be on June 20 and will cover the Loop 375 Border Highway West Extension Project. More information on that meeting can be found here.

The projects have been in the works for years and are part of the larger El Paso Comprehensive Mobility Plan unveiled in 2008. The video below was created in 2009 to highlight the Southern Relief Route, or what transportation officials feel would be a valid alternative to Interstate 10, helping to relieve congestion on the city's main freeway.

Other projects mentioned by Houghton:
$60M - Realign Schuster at UTEP and create a new overpass at I-10. Extend Schuster to Paisano and new 375 West Extension. Read our previous post about the project here.
$19M - Spaghetti Bowl Upgrades we posted about here.
$8.4 - Dual Roundabout Project at Paisano and Alameda we posted about here.
$7M - Widen Sun Bowl Drive

El Paso Inc. article:
TxDOT Border Highway West site:
El Paso Mobility website: