Residents Protest $10 Million Montwood Drainage Project
Plan Proposes to Substitute Roundabout for Stop Light at Major Intersection
EL PASO — The purpose of the $10 million project is mainly to repair the drainage system at the intersection of Wedgewood and Montwood., which floods every time it rains. It will also include replacing the street lights with a roundabout.
Some residents are not happy because they its a very busy intersection with 24,000 passing through every day.
"This is part of the Montwood project that's the city's going to be doing and what the city decided is since they have to tear everything out, they're going to remove the traffic lights and the safe pedestrian crosswalk to instead put in a roundabout," said Sharon Barnard, a resident opposed to the project.
"Everybody's worried about how the students are gonna cross this intersection. It's a very busy, especially at school time with everybody taking their kids to school," said Barnard.
The city will have the last say when the representatives vote on the issue.
"There's been a trend in El Paso of installing traffic circles or roundabouts and they have been successful in every instance when you're talking about speed management, pedestrian safety, traffic control, and so empirically these things work..although a lot of times residents don't want them i think quite simply because they're not used to them," said City Representative Steve Ortega.
With two schools located nearby, residents and especially parents don't agree with Ortega.
"Crossing this roundabout that's proposed by the city is gonna be hazardous because there is no signaling device to allow people to cross the intersection," said Ed Hazelton, a resident opposed to the project.
Ortega says the city engineers have checked the intersection and have approved the roundabout.
"I'm not an engineer and a lot of the people that are against this aren't engineers and so I take my advice from the professionals again our city engineers and third party engineers and they say it makes sense," said Ortega.
That specific intersection is divided between city representatives Dr. Noe and Steve Ortega. Residents tell News Channel Nine that Dr.noe is in support of them and will vote on their side opposing the roundabouts.
A public meeting will be held on Wednesday February 29th at Eastwood High School at 6:30 p.m. to get more signatures to try and stop the Montwood project.