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.
During “off-peak” periods and weekends, the rate to drive the entire distance will be cut in half to $0.56, while driving any shorter portion will cost $0.50, regardless of distance. The disclosed rates are for two-axle vehicles such a cars and SUVs.
|Border Highway West toll rates begin in 2018, including “peak” and “off-peak” amounts. (TXDOT)|
The rates were actually set by the Texas Transportation Commission at its April 24, 2014 meeting. The commission can adjust rates in the future if “toll revenues do not cover the total operations and maintenance expenses of the project.”
The Border Highway West project stretches nine miles from Downtown El Paso to the West Side near Sunland Park Drive, most of which will create brand new tollway lanes. Earlier this year, TXDOT awarded the approximately $600 million project to Abrams-Kiewit Joint Venture, a partnership between J.D. Abrams of Austin and Kiewit Infrastructure South Co. of Omaha. Groundbreaking is expected in fall of 2014.
TXDOT held the public hearing on Tuesday, May 27, 2014, at El Paso Community College’s Northwest campus.