EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Busy Artcraft Road is soon getting a direct connection to I-10 to reduce the traffic jams, but that means some of the surrounding businesses, including Canutillo ISD’s main offices, will have to move.

A Texas Department of Transportation spokesperson Jennifer Wright tells KTSM the redeveloped road will connect Artcraft directly to I-10 that is currently under construction for widening, all in hopes of reducing heavy traffic. 

The construction for the Artcraft Road Project would go from the New Mexico state line all the way to South and North Desert boulevards, which serve as frontage roads for the interstate.

Wright explained that many of the commercial vehicles coming through the Santa Teresa port of entry, along with the development of the area, is what is causing the heavy traffic in the area.

“I think that the safety concerns are the main benefits of this, where we reduce the conflict points of vehicles due to those great separated interchanges as I mentioned before,” Wright said.

“We can separate out high speed direct traffic from traffic that is accessing local businesses,” she added.

The newly built road would also include U-turn lanes, along with the interstate connection in order to reduce the number of vehicles at stoplights.

However, the construction isn’t going to begin before 2024 or 2025. 

TxDoT will have to acquire several properties or part of properties by the Artcraft and South Desert Boulevard intersection including businesses and the Canutillo ISD main office building. 

Gustavo Reveles, a spokesman for Canutillo Independent School District, said that the district has been in contact with TxDoT for several years regarding this project 

“We are in full cooperation. We know that this is a growing area. ,We know that the needs in this community are great. They are the same for us as a school district. We are willing to listen and see how this growth is beneficial for both TxDoT and their plans and our plans as well,” Reveles said. 

According to TxDoT, they have contacted all the businesses that would be affected by this project. 

“We are not 100 percent sure of the right of way impact, but it looks like the areas of the highest impact would be at the I-10 interchange where we plan to put the direct connectors,“ Wright said. 

Grammies Daycare is another business that is being impacted by this project, the owners telling KTSM about 10 percent of the front part of their property would be acquired by TxDoT. 

Daycare owner Toby Frescas said that this would severely impact their business.

The 10 percent of their property includes the parking lot and the outdoor playground area. 

If the outdoor area is downsized, that would mean the capacity for their daycare would decrease as well – from now serving about 190 children to less than 80.

“They have to realize that it’s not just the parking lot they are taking, it’s a part of the business,” Frescas explained. 

He said they have been in contact with TxDoT since last fall and are hoping to achieve an agreement that would allow them to either keep the current property intact or find a way to expand in a different direction. 

However, he explained that it is a challenge considering the surrounding area. 

He also expressed concerns for safety and accessibility to their business that has been in the same place for over a decade and serves families of both West El Paso and neighboring New Mexico.

Frescas said they plan on attending the public meeting regarding this project sometime in April and voicing their concerns. 

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