EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — As Far East El Paso continues to grow, so do the traffic troubles many drivers deal with on a daily basis.
“It’s the fastest-growing area in El Paso county. It’s projected to have 22,000 homes once complete. Once those 22,000 homes are complete it’ll actually be larger than the Westside and Upper Valley combined,” Commissioner Vince Perez told KTSM.
The congestion is usually seen on Zaragoza between Loop 375 and Montana, however, the County of El Paso is already working on various road projects to help alleviate traffic in the future.
“What the County has done is invested money on new construction to expand existing roadways and to build new roadways that help drivers connect to I-10 and Loop 375, as well as provide new North and South connectors that’ll help alleviate traffic from Loop 375,” Perez said.
Some projects are already in the works while others are expected to undergo construction in the next few years. One example includes extending John Hayes Rd. from Pellicano to Montwood.
“Right now Loop 375 is the only option if you want to get around to the Eastside,” Perez shared, “So the John Hayes extension is a very critical artery that will be available for drivers.”
Perez said the County has invested $140 million in these road projects. The bulk of the funding comes from the $10 vehicle registration fee which was approved by the Commissioners Court back in 2013.
“When you look at the amount of traffic and the amount of roads needed in our community, there needs to be some sort of funding source that helps construct these roads,” Perez explained, “Without that additional funding, none of this would’ve been possible. So that funding has really helped us to accelerate a lot of these projects.”
Though there’s still quite sometime before some of the projects are completed, Perez said there haven’t been any delays so far, “We’ve been very fortunate that all of the projects have been on time and under budget which I think is a very good thing for taxpayers and a very good thing for drivers.”
TxDOT El Paso sent KTSM a statement of its efforts to mediate traffic congestion in the area which reads, “TxDOT has maxed out its right-of-way along Zaragoza and we have no immediate plans for the area, as we cannot widen it without massive right-of-way acquisitions, and it’s not something for which we have current plans. The second phase of Montana Widening will help when it gets to that point, as it will improve the Montana/Zaragoza intersection, as well as the ones at Tierra Este and Rich Beam.”