Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Closer Look: 2013 El Paso County Comprehensive Mobility Plan

$120M County Pledge Will Help Fund Sixteen Projects

Earlier this month, County of El Paso Commissioners approved spending $120 million to help fund 16 major transportation projects throughout the county. Total costs for the projects are estimated at $392 million.
Four of the projects that will be helped by the County of El Paso include (counterclockwise from top left) the Spur 601/Loop 375 Direct Connector, the I-10 Collector-Distributor Lanes, the Americas Interchange Direct Connectors, and the Mesa Park Overpass and Frontage Roads. (County of El Paso)

The 16 projects stretch from west to east and include many both inside and outside the El Paso city limits. Here is a breakdown of the projects, some of which could see construction begin within a year.

I-10 Collector-Distributor Lanes (Mesa to Executive)
The Interstate 10 Collector-Distributor Lanes project is separated into two sections in the County’s Mobility Plan. The first stretches from Mesa Street on the far West Side of El Paso to an area just north of Executive Center Boulevard.

The approximately four mile project will, in essence, add a second set of freeway lanes that will “collect” and distribute traffic from off- and on-ramps, and keep them separate from the main lanes in the middle of I-10. Traffic entering and exiting I-10 will use these lanes and will not directly affect the main lanes.

Officials hope to have the environmental study and the schematic design completed by spring of 2014 with construction possibly beginning by the end of the same year. The Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) held community meetings in 2012 to update the public on its Collector-Distributor Lanes plan.
This map, from the County’s Mobility Plan, shows the location of the 16 projects throughout the area. (County of El Paso)

I-10 Collector-Distributor Lanes (Mesa Park)
The southern portion of the I-10 Collector-Distributor Lanes project involves creating a new overpass at the interstate for a new City street that is part of a future SmartCode development. Mesa Park Drive will take traffic to and from the planned Aldea El Paso development and connect with Mesa Street to the east.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Weekly Edition, Issue 37

The Weekly Edition, Issue 37 has arrived! Take a look at the newest issue of our Weekly Edition, by clicking HERE. (Note: The newsletter will open in PDF format.)

In this edition:

Don't forget to sign up to be notified when each week's new issue is available. Subscribe below.

Subscribe to our mailing list
* indicates required

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Newest State Park Entrance Design Revealed

Intersection at Loop 375 Simplified, Includes Wildlife Passage

The Texas Department of Transportation’s (TXDOT) newest plans for the Franklin Mountains State Park entrance on El Paso’s far Northwest Side is much simpler in design, according to concept images released last week. The intersection of the entrance at Loop 375 (Transmountain Road) will now also include a hiking and wildlife underpass.
The latest design for the Loop 375/Franklin Mountains State Park entrance intersection shows a simpler design with less disruption. A hiking underpass is at right. (TXDOT)

The images show a left-turn lane for vehicles traveling eastbound on Transmountain Road that will cross the median and yield to oncoming westbound traffic. The median cut will only be used for this purpose. Westbound travelers will still have a right-turn-only lane to enter the park.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Peek at Two Future Retail Developments

Images Offer Look at Possible Project Designs

As the city of El Paso continues spreading outward at its edges, retail developments are in the works to serve newer areas. Though many of these shopping centers are still in the works, some developers offer sneak peeks at what they may look like through renderings, concept images, and site plans.
An artist’s rendering shows what a future shopping center may look like at Redd Road and S. Desert Blvd., from the marketing brochure at www.rjlrealestate.com. (Concept designs are subject to change.)

One such development, at the corner of South Desert Boulevard and Redd Road, will add a 14.9-acre shopping center to the West Side. The center’s site plan at the RJL Real Estate website (www.rjlrealestate.com) shows multiple parcels surrounding a central larger plot.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Video Shows Water Utility's Plan to Curb I-10 Flooding

Flooding on Interstate 10 in Central El Paso has been an issue for many years during heavy rains. Storm water has caused the freeway to close completely, as many residents can attest. Now, El Paso Water Utilities is educating the public about its plan to fix the problem in a new video posted to its YouTube channel.

The video's description states: "A multi-year project has improved drainage in Central El Paso, including the critical I-10 area between Cotton and Copia Streets. Subsequent phases will provide additional ponds to capture runoff from the mountains and pipes and pumps to move water to the Rio Grande."

Weekly Edition, Issue 36

The Weekly Edition, Issue 36 has arrived! Take a look at the newest issue of our Weekly Edition, by clicking HERE. (Note: The newsletter will open in PDF format.)

In this edition:

Don't forget to sign up to be notified when each week's new issue is available. Subscribe below.

Subscribe to our mailing list
* indicates required

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Get an Aerial Video View of 'Piazza Escondida'

The developer of a mixed-use development on El Paso's West Side, Piazza Escondida, has debuted an aerial video of the project from above.

The YouTube video shows an afternoon look at the Piazza, which currently has homes for sale. The Winton Homes Group project located at 6350 Escondido Drive will ultimately deliver more than 20 residential units surrounding a central plaza area complete with landscaping and a fully functional fountain.

The video was posted on YouTube and Facebook by Michael Duchouquette.

See our previous story on the project here: 'Piazza' Progresses: Modern West Side Project Has Old World Character

Thursday, December 12, 2013

City Working on Palisades Canyon Trailhead Design

The City of El Paso held a public charrette last month detailing three different options for developing a trailhead at the entrance to Palisades Canyon on the city’s West Side. The City will use funds from the 2012 Quality of Life bonds approved by voters to develop the trailhead.
This concept image shows a seating area located at the trailhead at Palisades Canyon. (Public Service Board)

Palisades Canyon is a 202-acre natural, open-space park sandwiched between Crazy Cat Mountain and the taller peaks of the Franklin Mountains, off of Robinson Avenue. The park contains approximately 4.5 miles of trails.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Ballpark Traffic Study Findings to be Released

Construction on Stadium Continues at Steady Pace

The ballpark’s steel skeleton towers over Durango Street.
The City of El Paso’s Department of Transportation will hold a meeting this week to present the findings and recommendations of its Downtown Traffic Circulation Study. The study was developed to determine the effect of the ballpark, convention center, and Downtown events on traffic in the city’s core.

Construction crews are working quickly to ready the baseball stadium for opening day in April of next year. The main building’s form is now clear from most angles, with the entry tower along Durango Street prominent in the design.

The City’s latest update o
Sample of ballpark seating that may be used
at the Downtown stadium. (City of El Paso)
n construction of the ballpark focuses on the seating that will be available for visitors to the stadium. The seats will be the same type “installed at three of the last four Major League ballparks built around the country,” according to El Paso Chihuahuas General Manager Brad Taylor, at the City’s website.

“We will have comfortable chair-back seats in all parts of the ballpark – suites, club level, and concourse level.” There will be no metal bleachers to greet patrons.

The City will present the traffic study findings on Wednesday at 5:30 at the Downtown Library.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Montecillo Makes Big Moves

Project Readies for Town Center, Westward Expansion

Site preparation has finally begun on what will eventually become the Montecillo Town Center, part of the 292-acre Montecillo SmartCode development on El Paso’s West Side. Crews are clearing the way for the development’s “Entertainment District” which will house the Alamo Drafthouse movie theater that was announced as the first tenant earlier this year.
Construction machinery is helping to clear and level the site of the future Montecillo Town Center. The Alamo Drafthouse theater will be located here.

The property is currently a valley between two hills with relatively steep slopes on the eastern side of Mesa Street across from the Venue at Montecillo’s two northernmost apartment buildings. Parts of the property will be levelled to make construction of buildings more viable.

According to the Town Center’s leasing package, the project will add 37,000 square feet of big box retail, 80,000 square feet of “street” retail, and 56,200 square feet of commercial space. The move theater will consist of a 31,100 square foot building with 910 seats.
The View at Montecillo will offer housing options for seniors in El Paso. The 150-unit structure is under construction on El Paso’s west side.

There are 99 residential units planned for the site which will be incorporated into mixed-use buildings. And 1,165 parking spaces will be spread out among surface lots, parking structures, and on-street parking.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Weekly Edition, Issue 35

The Weekly Edition, Issue 35 has arrived! Take a look at the newest issue of our Weekly Edition, by clicking HERE. (Note: The newsletter will open in PDF format.)

In this edition:

Don't forget to sign up to be notified when each week's new issue is available. Subscribe below.

Subscribe to our mailing list
* indicates required