EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The Deck Plaza Project would connect the Downtown area with neighborhoods across the interstate by also providing additional space above the highway to add amenities.

This project is still in the very early stages and the City of El Paso, along with Paso Del Norte Community Foundation, are asking El Pasoans what they want this deck to be like in a series of public meetings.

The deck would stretch above Interstate 10 from Prospect to Campbell streets and the highway traffic would flow underneath.

The proposed stretch of the highway is the area currently included in a feasibility study funded by a grant.

“It’s like putting a lid on the freeway. So, the freeway will be allowed to continue moving east and west traffic underneath. But then, they have space on top to do something really cool and really transformational,” said Martin Bartlett, public involvement manager with the Deck Plaza Project Foundation.

He explains that the project would be built using an example of similar decks, like the ones in Dallas or Phoenix, that include a park and amenities like restaurants.

However, not everyone sees this project as a much-needed upgrade.

Sito Negron, president of Sunset Heights Neighborhood Association, recalled this project being included in TxDoT’s proposal for widening I-10 in Downtown.

“I would feel really terrible if, you know, just for some folks to have access to an amenity like a deck, we made the highway worse for so many other people,” Negron said, adding pollution and noise is already a problem in the area.

The Texas Department of Transportation is not in charge of the deck project; it is led by the city and Paso Del Norte Community Foundation, but Negron fears the two projects go hand in hand which could mean a part of the neighborhood on the north side across from Downtown would be erased.

“A deck park could be an amenity that would be attractive for people, but then when you try to justify it, using language like equity or reconnection, that’s not really what it is and the need for equity and connection exists east of Downtown,” he said.

The project is still not determined yet, and the public is invited to put in their comments during one of the following meetings:

  • Monday, Feb. 27: Pebble Hills Regional Command Center, 10780 Pebble Hills Ste. A
  • Tuesday, Feb. 28: Westside Regional Command Center, 4801 Osborne Dr.
  • Wednesday, March 1: Blue Flame Building, 304 Texas Ave., 17th floor.
  • All three meetings are scheduled for 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

You can also make a comment on Deck Plaza Project’s website.

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