Report Criticizes El Paso Interstate Expansion Plan

An independent review of TxDOT's proposed expansion of I-10 through downtown El Paso highlights several flaws and a price tag close to $800 million.

1 minute read

February 18, 2022, 7:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

El Paso

Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock

A third-party review of the Texas Department of Transportation's plan to expand Interstate 10 through downtown El Paso "found expanding I-10 in the Downtown area would not reduce congestion, instead it would bring more short local trips onto the freeway," reports Jennifer Cuevas.

"For his review, Norman Marshall, president of Smart Mobility Inc., looked at traffic data, speed count and the TxDOT El Paso Regional Modeling Files for the 2045 Metropolitan Transportation Plan." This doesn't surprise transportation planners who warn that building more lanes simply induces more driving and increased congestion. "Of the two additional lanes TxDOT has proposed, one would serve as a general purpose lane and the other as a transit-adaptive lane," Cuevas writes. "The problem with the transit-adaptive lane is TxDOT has not explained in detail what their purpose would be, according to Marshall."

"Rather than expanding, one of Marshall’s recommendations is to consider a street collector distributor concept to the west of Downtown." This approach would "keep the local traffic off the road, you keep it on the streets and therefore you let the freeway operate as an express facility," writes Marshall in the report. The report also adds that "The major issue with the I-10 Segment 2 Expansion Proposal review is it’s based on the Metropolitan Transportation Plan for 2045, instead of the MTP 2050 plan."

Thursday, February 17, 2022 in CBS 4 El Paso

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