EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The Paso Del Norte Community Foundation and the City of El Paso held the first of a series of public meetings Tuesday, April 18, concerning the Downtown Deck Plaza Project.

The proposed project would cover 14.5 acres from Campbell Street to Porfirio Diaz, and would be built on top of Interstate 10.

The ideas proposed at Tuesday’s meeting show the deck including playgrounds, gardens, office spaces, a dog park, a stage, a pavilion and plaza, and more.

Joaquin Rodriguez, the transportation planning administrator for the City of El Paso, says the project is still in the feasibility study phase and there is not an estimated cost at this point. However, he says the goal is for it not to be taxpayer funded.

“If this becomes a taxpayer burden, that’s a decision that City Council has to make. Our job is really to explore other opportunities, whether that’s through federal grants, state funding. There’s a number of different opportunities. Especially with the current administration, there’s a lot of federal funding coming down for projects like this,” Rodriguez said.

On the Downtown Deck Plaza website, El Pasoans have been leaving comments about the project.

“I agree with the other questioning an increase in taxes. Maybe we should get the rest of the city cleaned up and properly repaired before adding more space that will need the same,” said one person with the username Jaa Cee.

“Building the deck park will create a better sense of of downtown continuity across I-10 and raise the prospects for development in some of these north-side empty lots,” said another user who was Anonymous on the website.

Rodriguez says they are looking at utilizing parking already available in Downtown and not building parking spaces on the deck.

“The concept of building parking on the deck is a really expensive proposal, not really the highest and best use of that sort of deck top space,” Rodriguez said.

According to the Downtown Deck Plaza Foundation, the City of El Paso received a $900,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation for community engagement and to work on the design and engineering of the project.

Two other community meetings on the project will be held this week.

  • Wednesday, April 19: Metro 31/Northgate Transfer Center, 9348 Dyer Street.
  • Thursday, April 20: Blue Flame Building, 304 Texas Ave., 17th floor.