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El Paso City Council deletes item discussing modernization of Bridge of the Americas

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- In a 6-2 vote, the El Paso City Council voted to delete an item regarding the modernization of an El Paso port of entry during Tuesday's meeting. This means El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser will not send a letter to the U.S. General Services Administration asking for the removal of commercial traffic at the Bridge of the Americas port of entry.

El Paso City Representative Chris Canales placed this item on the agenda due to concerns about pollution in that area of town.

"All delegates and federal stakeholders to develop a regional strategy that will ultimately divert commercial vehicle traffic crossings through bota to alternate land ports of entry, thereby helping to address the county's ongoing concern about the placement of commercial traffic in the urban core of the community," said El Paso City Representative Chris Canales.

The federal government is looking to spend about $600 to 700 million to modernize the bridge.

Current plans proposed by the U.S. General Services Administration say it will add more lanes for commercial traffic at the bridge.

According to local residents and Representative Canales, this will lead to more environmental concerns. But other city representatives also said what they need to learn before sending that letter.

Representatives Kennedy, Hernandez, Molinar, Fierro, and Rivera said diverting these trucks to other ports of entry might affect commerce in our area.

"It's the only port of entry located in a neighborhood that has this much truck traffic. It's been a historic neglect and environmental injustice and neglect to our health to have those trucks in our neighborhood," said Cemelli De Aztlan, member of Familias Unidas del Chamizal.

City council also said some tests and environmental studies need to be done in that area by the BOTA before sending an official letter to the federal government and to GSA.

Article Topic Follows: On the Border

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Heriberto Perez

Heriberto Perez Lara reports for ABC-7 on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.


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