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South Central El Paso roads will get a makeover

City leaders held a community meeting to discuss street reconstruction in south central neighborhoods.

City representatives were asking for input from residents and they got it.

Homeowners are happy to see they’re getting their streets redone but are upset over how long it’s taken.

Frustrated residents tell ABC-7 it’s the lack of drainage in the area that causes problems on their roads.

City reps Emma Acosta and Courtney Niland said that is the first thing that will be tackled in the south central streets project.

“I apologize that this has taken so long. I apologize that you have been neglected for too many years but I can commit to you that that’s not going to happen over the next three(years),” said Niland.

Niland started the community meeting assuring residents their streets will get taken care of.

The area proposed to be reconstructed is between Alameda Avenue and the Border Highway south of the Fox Plaza area.

“We are prioritizing the projects that are in dire straights and are in dire need,” said Niland.

The money is coming from certificates of obligation passed in 2012, but other areas in the city were first in line for street improvements before the south central project,
and $13 million were approved for the south central area in March.

“Some of the streets are already under design but before we complete the design we need to have community input,” Acosta said.

In a new move, city planners allowed residents to vote on elements they would like to see on their streets like lights, trees and parking. They used clickers to vote for their favorite choices.

“To be able to get in the neighborhoods and talk with them one on one and get their feed back we end up delivering a product that they wanted from the beginning,” said Niland.

But there was also some frustration expressed in the meeting.

“For the past four years, since I retired, we’ve been having meetings with Niland and she’s been promising us and putting us on the fast track to have our streets repaved and restructured and here it it now in 2017 when it was originally scheduled to get done, when supposedly it’s going to get done now,” said Ramon Acosta, south central El Paso resident.

“I understand why they are frustrated. I would be too. They’ve been singing and screaming for decades, everyone promises that they are getting it done but no one does and we are now,” Niland said.

Niland tells ABC-7 residents can see reconstruction begin this year and is expected to be completed in three years.

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