Work to widen Sun Bowl Drive into a four-lane thoroughfare at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) is in full swing as crews have put protective barriers in place to protect passing vehicles from debris. Construction workers are “chipping away” at the rocky mountain on the western shoulders of Sun Bowl Drive according to the school’s On the Move website (www.onthemove.utep.edu).
|Lanes on Sun Bowl Drive have been shifted as work has begun on the widening project. (www.onthemove.utep.edu)|
The $4.8 million project will widen the roadway, construct five-foot sidewalks on each side, and install enhanced lighting along a half-mile stretch of Sun Bowl. The outside lane in each direction will also be wider than usual to allow for bicycle traffic. A roundabout will help control traffic at the roadway’s intersection with Glory Road.
“You’ve all undoubtedly noticed that the width of Sun Bowl Drive varies from two lanes to four, and that the remaining two-lane stretch creates a bottleneck and a safety risk,” UTEP President Diana Natalicio stated during groundbreaking for the project on September 16, 2013, pointing out the issues with traffic caused by the reduced lanes.
The school’s Campus Transformation may add to Sun Bowl Drive’s importance in handling traffic traveling around the campus; one of the Transformation’s goals is to remove vehicular traffic from the inner campus.
Sun Bowl Drive will remain open during construction, but officials urge caution due to shifted, temporary lanes. Drivers should expect delays.
Officials expect the project to last ten months, which means completion in July 2014.