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Work to begin on Border West Expressway next week

Work on the new Border West Expressway is set to begin next week.

ABC-7 has details on what to expect, including information on properties that may be lost or moved for the project.

Loop 375 is ready to become an actual loop. The Border West Expressway portion is expected to be completed by spring 2018.

“We’ve been acquiring land since last may when the environmental was approved,” Texas Department of Transportation District Engineer Bob Bielek said. “There are three different groups acquiring land.”

Bielek said the nearly $450 million project is the biggest highway project that’s ever been done in El Paso county, because Interstate 10 was built in stages and not considered a single project.

Growing pains include businesses on Paisano Drive that already have or will soon be relocated, like the Rescue Mission and surrounding buildings.

Neighborhoods across west and central El Paso will be impacted for the construction of the mostly four-lane tolled highway. Including Chihuahita, where a bridge column will likely have to go in the neighborhood park and two houses on Chihuahua Street in the historic neighborhood will possibly need to be acquired for the Border West Expressway. One man who lives at one of the houses named Fernie said he has lived there for about 50 years.

“We’ve been working with the folks in Chihuahita ever since I got here. Actually, they like the project because they like the whole idea of shutting off Santa Fe street and making it a dead end,” Bielek said.

Border West Expressway is being called a necessary alternative to I-10, when incidents or reconstruction affect the busy interstate.

The project team office is already located at the old Cemex plant on Executive Center and Paisano drives. The Border West Expressway will be nearly seven and a half miles from Racetrack near Doniphan drives and end near the U.S. 54.

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