El Paso Freeway Cap Linked to Road Expansion

A deck reconnecting neighborhoods divided by the interstate is part of a controversial freeway expansion proposal.

1 minute read

January 27, 2023, 6:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Rendering of freeway deck over Interstate 10 in El Paso

Texas Department of Transportation / Rendering of freeway deck concept

A proposed freeway cap in El Paso, Texas could rejoin neighborhoods divided by Interstate 10, but could be tied to the freeway’s expansion, reports Dan Zukowski in Smart Cities Dive. “The 2,300-foot-long deck would reconnect those communities, creating a new public space. According to illustrations published by the Downtown Deck Plaza Foundation, the deck could include green space, athletic fields, pedestrian paths and other amenities.”

According to Zukowski, “The agency cites traffic congestion, incident management issues and failure of the existing highway to meet current design standards as reasons to improve and widen the roadway.”

Some critics in the community question the need for the widening, but the project has nevertheless gained support from organizations including the Paso del Norte Community Foundation, the Paso del Norte Health Foundation and the El Paso Chamber of Commerce. In February 2022, an independent review suggested that the proposal would bring more traffic to the area for short local trips and fail to reduce congestion.

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