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TXDOT: More than 200 El Paso bridges need to be replaced

The long-awaited street car project is expected to be up and running later this year.

Tracks are already installed on the Stanton and Oregon bridges over I-10, but the Texas Department of Transportation said those bridges are two, out of more than 200, that will need to be replaced or torn down.

TXDOT’s El Paso District Engineer Bob Bielek said that’s because the bridges are more than 50 years old.

“I-10 was designed for an annual daily traffic of 100,000 vehicles and we have about 230,000 today,” Bielek said. He said semi-trucks are also getting bigger, and the bridges no longer meet the height requirements.

A study is now underway looking into how TXDOT will go about taking on the massive project. But what impact will it have on the street car?

“Something’s going to happen with the street car anyway, because the bridges that it’s on will need to be eliminated or reconstructed,” Bielek said.

He said they will need to look into alternative routes.

“Routing it on the circuit, for example. Another option would be put in separate bridges to cross at a third level,” Bielek said.

TXDOT officials said the bottom line is, the project won’t even begin it’s design phase until a in a minimum of about 5 years. Even though the construction would be later down the line, they tell ABC-7 they’ll find a solution for the street car one way or another.

A city spokeswoman told ABC-7 that because TXDOT is currently conducting a feasibility study, the final alternatives are not set. Whether the bridges are replaced or not and whether the streetcar continues on its present alignment or is rerouted is part of the alternatives they are considering.

TXDOT officials said the study won’t be completed until the summer of 2020. They would like input from the public. To give input go to :

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