POSTED: Tuesday, February 15, 2011 - 10:25pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, February 16, 2011 - 9:58am
EL PASO- The long-awaited Loop 375 expansion got one step closer tonight.
Local TxDOT representatives took to the microphone tonight, outlining to the public their plan for extending Loop 375 from Dyer street west until US 54.
"Where we can have the ability to inform the public and to make sure the public is informed about the project," said Ray Dovalina.
That's the goal of this first TxDOT sponsored hearing on the much anticipated loop 375 expansion. Dozens of people showed up for the meeting, with most just wanting to hear what TxDOT has in store.
"It's an important project, not only for the state but for the community," Dovalina said.
Currently, Loop 375 North ends at Dyer Street, spilling traffic onto an often overcrowded Transmountain Drive.
Plans call to extend the highway west to the Patriot Freeway, building the road above existing streets. The hope is to ease congestion in the area.
As TxDOT presented its plans, most in attendance were concerned about traffic once construction starts.
"I'd like to see minimum impact while they're doing the expansion itself," said one attendee.
TxDOT says delays might happen, but that the project is worth it in the long haul. It was enough to convince Bill Bates.
"I think the plans are excellent and I think they've allowed for enough access to the roads and from the roads. It's definitely going to change the traffic pattern," Bates said.
Construction is expected to start within the year, with a completion date sometime in 2013.
The other and perhaps more controversial expansion to Loop 375 will happen on the west side.
Plans to create a four-lane highway from the entrance to Franklin State Park to I-10 are in place, and a public hearing on that proposal is set for March 22nd.