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Crews to stabilize slopes in Tom Lea Park area this weekend

The City of El Paso is set to begin a multi-million dollar project to help stabilize the upper portion of Tom Lea Park, which sits on a cliff and overlooks a portion of Schuster Avenue.

This weekend Schuster Ave. will be closed between N. Virginia and Brown to allow work crews continue a temporary project that will stabilize the slopes.

The closure will last from 6 a.m. Saturday through Monday morning. Detours will be in place for drivers.

City engineer Sam Rodriguez said rocks and debris often fall onto Schuster Ave. posing a danger for drivers and pedestrians.

He said the slopes need to be stabilized to prevent that from happening.

“We’re being proactive about it rather than wait for them (slopes) to fall. There’s a good possibility that they could fall with the next rainy season,” Rodriguez said.

The weekend construction is part of a temporary fix, but a permanent solution is in the design phase. Construction is expected to begin later this year and completed in 2019.

City council recently approved a more than $9 million dollar budget for the entire project.

“It is a substantial project when you think of the amount of work we’re going to have to do to stabilize it.” Rodriguez said.

The repairs will help stabilize the slopes at the southernmost end of the park overlooking Schuster Avenue.

“You have El Paso High School right across the street and we want to make sure that whole area is safe from a long term perspective,” he said.

If additional work is needed, Schuster Ave. could also be closed next week.

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