EL PASO, Texas -- TxDOT held two hearings for public comment regarding a proposed new project, the Borderland Expressway. One hearing was held virtually at noon the other was held publically at 5:00. Community members were allowed to participate in both.
The Borderland Expressway Project would be a new roadway connecting 375 East of the Railroad Drive Overpass to the Anthony Gap FM 3255 at the TX-NM state line in El Paso.
The Borderland Expressway has been in the works for over 20 years. The participants at the public hearing say this road has been long-awaited.
"It's gonna be so worth it not only for El Paso but for the whole region," said Silvestre Reyes.
At today's public hearing it was mentioned the proposed expressway will serve as an alternative route if there are ever any closures or problems with I-10. Construction will begin in 2023.
Some participants who attended had concerns about the proposal.
"There is supposed to be a hike bike path as part of this project so it's gonna be multi-model, except it only goes five miles out of the eleven miles of this project, so we're getting short-changed," said Scott White Policy Director for Velo Paso bicycle-pedestrian coalition.
"The thing is rainwater can be a problem or it could be an asset," said Judy Ackerman an El Pasoan concerned if the new roads could handle rain.
"We actually planned for and have ponding areas along all of our projects that will handle the runoff from the impermeable surface that we put down," said Jennifer Wright TxDot spokesperson.
At its completion, the road will be four lanes and be composed of a Texas segment and a New Mexico segment.
Supporters of the project say regardless of bumps in the road they're ready for the project to begin.
"I've been a big supporter when this thing was called the Northeast Parkway, now it's changed names now we're the Borderland Expressway. It doesn't matter to me what it's called, let's just get it done," said Joe Molinar.
This is a combined project with New Mexico expected to be completed in three phases over the course of ten years.