Friday, May 30, 2014

Sun Metro Debuts Brio Extended Buses, 1st Completed Station

Sun Metro officials unveiled eight of the brand new Brio articulated bus units last week which will be used for the Bus Rapid Transit System set to launch later this year.
A brand new Brio bus stops at the Glory Road RTS station near UTEP. The Mesa Street line should begin operation in late summer or early fall. (

The 60-foot buses include three doors, free WiFi, monitors, and interior bike racks. The Glory Road Brio station was also completed, the first in the Mesa Corridor line. Once live, Brio buses will arrive at stations every 10 minutes during peak hours.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Gander Mountain Chooses East El Paso for New Store

Outdoor Specialty Retailer to Open Location Near Joe Battle & Montwood

A national retailer specializing in outdoor gear will build a new store on El Paso’s Far East Side as part of its expansion plans. Gander Mountain, with stores in 17 other Texas cities, has plans to construct a 52,000 square foot location which will open in spring of 2015.

The new store will be located in a “newly constructed shopping center, near the junction of Joe Battle Blvd. and Montwood Drive,” according to a press release, though the precise location has not been specified. It will be the 18th store in Texas.

“Gander Mountain is already a well-known and trusted name in Texas among those who love the outdoors, and who enjoy great traditions like hunting, fishing, hiking, boating and camping,” states David Pratt, Gander Mountain’s President and CEO, in a press release.

“We are thrilled to bring a new Gander Mountain store to El Paso, and give our friends in West Texas more opportunities to experience our top-quality gear and knowledgeable service at great prices.”

The large size of store is typical for new locations for the retailer, which currently has 127 stores in 24 states. Gander Mountain was established in 1960 and is headquartered in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

City Narrows Palisades Canyon Trailhead Design

Public input has helped City officials to narrow down the design for the Palisades Canyon Park trailhead to two final options. The City of El Paso’s Planning Division has released the data report for the second charrette held on the project, which took place in February.
One of the top two trailhead designs for Palisades Canyon, based on the last charrette. (City of El Paso)

Those in attendance favored options four and five during the meeting, the designs that contain the smallest footprint with minimal intrusion into the existing park. Both options also include a “slip lane” which can be used as a separated drop-off lane to the trailhead.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Toll Rates Revealed for Border Highway West

State Holds Public Hearing to Discuss Project Financing, Tolling

The colossal Border Highway West project is still years from opening to the public, but Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) officials have already determined the rates that commuters will have to pay to drive on the tollway. Officials held a meeting on Tuesday to disclose this and other financial details to the public.
Commuters on the Border Highway West extension in El Paso will pay $1.12 to drive the entire distance when it opens in 2018. (TXDOT)

At the onset, drivers will be charged $1.12 during “peak” hours to drive the entire 5.6-mile distance from Racetrack Drive to Loop 375’s current terminus at Santa Fe Street south of Downtown El Paso, with rates lowering to $0.76 and $0.50 for driving through shorter portions of the highway. The published rates are in 2014 dollars and could be adjusted for inflation once tolls go live. TXDOT officials expect project completion in early 2018.

Weekly Edition, Issue 55

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Menchie's 'Fountains' Store to Have Friday Grand Opening

A new Menchie's frozen yogurt shop will open at the Fountains at Farah shopping center this Friday in East El Paso. It will be the third El Paso location for the chain.
A new Menchie's frozen yogurt shop will open this Friday at the Fountains at Farah in East El Paso. 

The store will celebrate the opening by giving out free 16 ounce cups of frozen yogurt on Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Then, free frozen yogurt will be given out to students on Saturday, to kids on Sunday, and to military personnel and their families on Monday with valid ID, according to a press release.

Menchie's opened its first location in West El Paso in 2011 and opened a Far East Side location last year.

The third location, opening at the Fountains at Farah, is located on the eastern end of the Promenade section of the center, in front of La Madeleine Country French Cafe.

Previously: New Menchie’s Location Coming Soon to ‘Fountains’

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Moves Made on Large Northeast El Paso Property

Owner Seeks Commercial Zone for 35-Acre Development

El Paso’s City Council will hear an agenda item this week on a large tract of land in Northeast El Paso that could potentially bring a sizeable shopping center to the area. The developer is seeking to change the zoning to commercial to allow for retail and office uses.
The northern portion of the retail development in Northeast El Paso will have higher density buildings, along US-54. (City of El Paso)

The property, located on the southeast corner of US-54 and McCombs Street, sits on 35 acres of undeveloped land and is adjacent to the Northeast Regional Park. The site plan included in the rezoning application shows several retail and office buildings of various sizes in a mostly traditional suburban shopping center layout.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

El Paso Looks to Revamp Street Design Guidelines

City May Adopt Bike-, Pedestrian-Friendly Layouts for Roadways

The City-owned streets in El Paso may look very different in the future if City Council this week adopts new design guides for roadway planning. City Representatives will consider incorporating the “Urban Street Design Guide” and “Urban Bikeway Design Guide” as official design guidelines for “bicycle facility and other city funded street and roadway improvement projects.” Both guides were developed by the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO).
Sidewalk design elements include (from left to right) a frontage zone (extension of the building), a pedestrian through zone, a street furniture/curb zone, and a buffer zone which includes a bike lane in this illustration. (

According to NACTO’s website (, the “Urban Street Design Guide” helps cities make streets “safer, more livable, and more economically vibrant.” NACTO sees streets as having an ever-expanding set of needs and not simply as traffic corridors, with an emphasis on accommodating all modes of movement including vehicles, bicycles, transit, and pedestrians. As the website stresses, streets make up 80 percent of public space.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Weekly Edition, Issue 54

The Weekly Edition, Issue 54 has arrived! Take a look at the newest issue of our Weekly Edition, by clicking HERE. (Note: The newsletter will open in PDF format.)

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Loop 375 Northwest Freeway Nearly Complete

Contractor Lists Mid-May as Possible Opening Date for Transmountain Expansion

Transmountain Road on El Paso’s West Side is the latest portion of Loop 375 to see expansion, and the contractor on the project has indicated that the new freeway could open as soon as this month. The 3.5 mile project stretches from Interstate 10 to the Franklin Mountains State Park entrance.
Direct connectors will take drivers to and from Loop 375 in West El Paso. (

The opening date was indicated in a recent blog post at the website of Sundt Construction (, the contractor based in Tempe, Arizona. Sundt began construction in the fall of 2012.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

SmartCode Project Requests 12-Month Extension

City to Consider 2nd Amendment to ‘Aldea El Paso’ Agreement

The second massive SmartCode project planned for West El Paso will have 12 more months to begin construction on its 204-acre development, if City Council approves the agenda item at this week’s meeting. This will be the second time the developer requests a one-year extension.
This map shows the several districts that will define the Aldea El Paso SmartCode development. A Walmart store, located in the orange district on this map, will have the largest footprint, followed by the more urban Rambla District to its east. I-10 and the planned frontage roads are at the bottom. (

The developer, Geltmore, LLC of Albuquerque, still has not complied with one item out of five required by the Chapter 380 incentives agreement it signed with the City of El Paso in 2011. Geltmore must get Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) approval for the Interstate 10 frontage road and interchange that will provide access to the development.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Weekly Edition, Issue 53

The Weekly Edition, Issue 53 has arrived! Take a look at the newest issue of our Weekly Edition, by clicking HERE. (Note: The newsletter will open in PDF format.)

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