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Loop 375’s Border West Expressway becomes non-tolled state highway, despite being free of charge

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- On Thursday the Texas Transportation Commission approved converting the Loop 375 Border West Expressway project to become a non-tolled state highway.

According to a spokesperson with the Texas Department of Transportation, since 2019 drivers have been able to drive through this stretch of road for free even though toll signs have been there.

The tolled state highway included a stretch of Loop 375 from the Downtown exit until Racetrack Drive near Doniphan Rd. including the eastbound and westbound lanes.

Jennifer Wright, a spokesperson with TXDOT, told ABC-7 toll equipment and signage will eventually be removed.

Wright couldn't provide a timeline when the changes will happen. She said officials first have to make a plan.

The spokeswoman also couldn't say how much it will costs to remove both the equipment and the signs, but she said state highway dollars will be used for that.

Former State Rep. Joe Pickett was content the conversion was approved.

He said he was one of many who felt a toll at the Border West Expressway wouldn't work.

"People ask me, 'Why isn’t there a toll on it right now?' Well, to operate the toll, it's like any other business, there’s expenses involved. The Regional Mobility Authority would actually lose money if they operated as a toll. They have not done that," he said.

Pickett believed El Pasoans didn't deserve these type of toll roads.

"There were multiple tolls being planned all along Loop 375. When I removed them from the plan, that made a stand-alone like this one difficult and I did it on purpose," Pickett said.

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Rosemary Montañez

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