Federal Highway Association Approves Trans Mountain Expansion
EL PASO - The Federal Highway Administration approved the expansion of Transmountain Road.
The project will expand the two-lane highway into four lanes with two-lane frontage roads. Plans for the expansion drew criticism from groups who were concerned about the environmental impacts.
After an independent review, the FHWA issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI). The independent review by FHWA was based on review and evaluation of the environmental assessment which was prepared for this project, the State’s recommendation, as well as the entire project record.
“Public involvement on the project resulted in some changes that improved the proposed work. Trans Mountain will be a better project because of it. The project addresses El Paso growth in a responsible way”, stated Berry after hearing of the FONSI.
The improvements also include grade separated intersections at Northwestern Drive, Resler Drive, the future Plexxar Drive, and future Paseo del Norte Drive.
The project also includes construction of a direct connector ramp from Loop 375 west to I-10 east and a second direct connector ramp from I-10 west to Loop 375 east. As part of this project shared hike-and-bike trails will be constructed separate from the roadways, near the Loop 375 right-of-way line, between the intersections of Northwestern Drive and Paseo del Norte Drive, and along the northern right-of-way line from future Paseo Del Norte Drive to the driveway for the Franklin Mountain State Park Tom Mays Unit.
A construction bid date is scheduled for September.