Commissioners approve $ 400 million dollars investment for county roads


POSTED: Monday, December 16, 2013 - 5:11pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, December 17, 2013 - 9:30am

El Paso county roads will get a 400 million dollar facelift that will connect El Paso, Socorro, Horizon and Clint with a total of 16 new projects.

Experts say the project represents one of El Paso’s greatest changes in years. The effort became a top priority after the fast-growing development in several county areas. The motion was approved in Commissioners Court to relieve congestion by improving connectivity.

"It's going to mean a lot of easier access to our roads increasing our economic base development and I think it will also show that El Paso is growing and has a future," Texas State Senator Jose Rodriguez said.

The multi-million dollar investment became a reality after several government entities reached an inter-local agreement that will allow the use of federal, state, and county funds.

"We've taken some local dollars and we are leveraging and pulling down some added TX-DOT money and really in a collaboratively way looking at the way that we can have the biggest bank for our buck," El Paso County Judge Veronica Escobar said.

"These are very expensive projects and you need to have partners and multiple funding sources to make it happen and these will have huge benefits for the community particularly on the Far East that is growing very rapidly," El Paso City Manager Joyce Wilson said.

But taxpayers will also contribute; drivers will have to pay an extra 10 dollars vehicle registration fee.

Some El Pasoans said it's worth it.

"10 dollars it's not bad you know whatever they're doing I think will work," Downtown El Paso resident Chris Tiscareño said.

"If you get an access to get it right away is faster I don't mind to pay 10 dollars more because it makes it easier to get back to work," Central El Paso resident Jim Atiyah said.

County Judge Veronica Escobar said these investments will reach unincorporated areas of the county and cities like Socorro and Horizon that need connectivity.

263 million will be used for construction and transportation improvements in el Paso while 125.5 million will be used in other county wide areas.

"They are going to get huge dollars that are going to be spent in their area, all of this is going to get built and that kind of investment would not be going to those areas were it not for the collaboratively work that we've been able to do," Escobar concluded.

Some of the organizations participating are the Texas Department of Transportation, Camino Real Mobility and El Paso County. The estimated completion date for the 16 projects is 2020.

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