Friday, September 6, 2013

UTEP Update: Schuster Roundabout Completed, 'Transformation' Work Continues

A new roundabout at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) opened to traffic in time for the first day of classes last Monday. The roundabout is part of the larger Schuster extension project that will take the avenue over Interstate 10 and connect to West Paisano Drive.

According to the school’s On the Move website (, a portion of the P-4 parking lot has been restriped and opened for use. Pedestrians can also now walk underneath the completed roundabout to access the campus.
Traffic flows smoothly through the new roundabout at UTEP. (

The new road is officially titled Spur 1966 in reference to the national champion Texas Western basketball team, the college that would be renamed UTEP years later. It is still the only university in the state of Texas to win a national championship in basketball.

A 0.7 mile bridge will allow a new interchange between Schuster Avenue and the future Border Highway West. The Yandell Drive bridge will be demolished as part of this project. Haydon Building Corp. ( of Phoenix is the contractor on the $55 million project.

Inside the core of UTEP, the much heralded “Campus Transformation” continues to take shape. The Wiggins Plaza project is nearing completion as crews put the finishing touches on the landscaping of the area. New shade trees, seating areas, and an elliptical “labyrinth” have taken up an area between the Library and Health Sciences buildings.
This bird’s eye view of Wiggins Plaza shows the elliptical “labyrinth” located between the University Library and the Health Sciences building. The plaza includes traffic calming measures for vehicles. (

University of Texas System Board of Regents recently approved $10 million to continue the Transformation projects, including Centennial Plaza in the middle of campus. The area, formerly occupied by grassy hills, parking lots, and streets, is currently a pile of dirt. Transformation projects are timed to coincide with next year’s Centennial Celebration and aim to remove vehicular traffic from the inner parts of campus.