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Residents see plans for new roundabouts

Dozens of South-Central El Paso residents got a look at the two roundabouts the Texas Department of Transportation is proposing be installed along Alameda Avenue at Paisano Drive and El Paso Drive.

TxDOT held a public meeting at the Texas Tech campus Tuesday evening. Officials posted displays of the computerized renditions of how the intersections would look post-construction. Those who attended the meeting had an opportunity to pore over the renditions, as well as leave written or video-recorded comments on the plans.

TxDOT hopes to not only create two roundabouts in the area, but it plans to demolish the overpass that provides access to the eastbound lanes of Alameda.

“The overpass is a very unusual set-up. It’s something that’s quite different,” said Bob Bielek, the TxDOT district engineer. “And what we’re doing is normalizing it, make it a little more traffic friendly.”

TxDOT said the roundabouts are necessary to alleviate traffic problems. Bielek said in the last two years, 62 collisions occurred at the intersection of Paisano and Alameda. Bielek also said vehicles of all sizes will be able to use the roundabouts without problems. Pedestrian accessibility and drainage should also be improved with the proposed project.

Land owner Mark Estrada spoke with engineers on hand as he looked over the plans, saying he was anticipating the changes. He told ABC-7 he had one issue, though.

“The idea of encouraging more medians on Alameda I think is a bad idea,” Estrada said. “You’re given the impression that you can do a proper U-turn, and if you’ve ever tried to do a U-turn in the newer part of Alameda, you won’t make it all the way around.”

Bielek said they will consider modifying the plan if residents give a technical reason why certain aspects may not work.

Stay with ABC-7 as we continue to follow this developing story.

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