EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Members of the El Paso Mobility Coalition say two El Paso, Texas projects will be funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill.
In a press release from the El Paso Chamber, officials say the funding awards announced this month were part of the 2022 Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) Program and include:
- $12 million to the City of El Paso for improvements to the Ysleta Port of Entry. The funds will be used for pedestrian improvements and to modernize the port’s infrastructure.
- $7.89 million to the Texas Department of Transportation for the Paso del Norte Trail as part of a large $25 million grant award to TxDOT for hike/bike trails across Texas. The funds will be used for the design and construction of 5.6 miles of the Paso del Norte Trail from Ysleta to Socorro.
City Manager Tommy Gonzalez says “The $12 million RAISE grant to the City of El Paso is an important strategic investment in our international bridges by the U.S. DOT, which will allow the city to upgrade this port of entry with pedestrians and economic development in mind.” Gonzalez adds, “The grant further supports our goal to align our International Bridges, Economic Development, Planning, and Grants Division Departments to strengthen our economic development and binational efforts. We thank Congresswoman Veronica Escobar, our Texas State Legislative delegation and binational partners for supporting these efforts.”
The El Paso Chamber says the RAISE announcement also shines a light on the Paso del Norte Trail, adding additional miles to the 68-mile planned hike/bike amenity.
Tracy J. Yellen, CEO of the Paso del Norte Health Foundation/Paso del Norte Community Foundation, says, “We are grateful to the U.S. DOT for this significant investment, which will add another nearly six miles to the Paso del Norte Trail from Ysleta to Socorro.” Yellen adds, “We look forward to partnering with the Texas Department of Transportation on the project to bring these important recreational and alternative transportation amenities to the Mission Valley – making it easier for the residents of our region to live active lives.”
The El Paso Chamber says the El Paso Mobility Coalition and its partners are working on over $500 million in funding requests to the U.S. DOT to support strategic investments and leverage local resources. The El Paso Mobility Coalition includes representatives from the City of El Paso, County of El Paso, El Paso Metropolitan Planning Organization, Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority, Texas Department of Transportation, El Paso Chamber, Paso del Norte Health Foundation/Paso del Norte Community Foundation, and others.
The El Paso Chamber says proposals funded and in the pipeline are listed below. These are just a few of the regional applications that are being planned by Coalition partners and regional stakeholders as the U.S. DOT releases Notices of Funding Opportunities for local communities to apply for federal funds.
- RAISE 2022 – $12 million approved to make improvements at the Ysleta Port of Entry
- RAISE 2022 – $7.68 million approved for the Paso del Norte Trail
- Safe Streets for All 2022 – for up to $1 million in planning funds to create a Vision Zero planning document with the goal of identifying and mitigating traffic fatalities by the El Paso Metropolitan Planning Organization
- Chrissy 2022 – for the future removal of at-grade crossings at Zaragoza and Copia crossings by the City of El Paso
- Reconnecting Communities 2022 – for the design and engineering of additional recreational hike/bike trails across El Paso County by the Paso del Norte Community Foundation
- MEGA/Infra 2023 – for over $500 million for design and construction of I-10 modernization including the Downtown Deck Plaza by the City of El Paso
- RAISE 2023 – for planning for a potential streetcar connection from Downtown to the Medical Center of the Americas by the City of El Paso
- Railroad Elimination Program 2023 – for design/construction for the elimination of the at-grade railroad crossing to improve student safety at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center