EL PASO, Texas -- The ongoing construction project on Mesa Street in west El Paso has closed one lane both north and southbound from Castellano to Executive and brought traffic to a crawl.
"The congestion was really bad," said Texas Department of Transportation spokesperson Jennifer Wright.
And while it can lead to lots of frustration, Wright said the project needs to be done.
"The purpose is the Mesa rehabilitation project, we are rehabilitating the pavement. Mesa Street has been the detour route for many Interstate 10 closures in the past and the pavement is rife with potholes," Wright said.
TxDOT anticipated a backup when a north and southbound lane on Mesa were each closed, but there are also other issues.
"Part of the problem was on the southbound segment, right before you got to Castellano, we had thought it was a good idea to leave the right turn open so people could access Castellano," Wright said.
But it actually made it easy for drivers to cut back into traffic, causing gridlock.
An ABC-7 photographer made the more than one and a half mile drive from Castellano to Executive along Mesa and it took about thirty minutes.
Wright suggests an alternative.
"We're actually recommending that people use I-10 as the alternate route," Wright said.
Construction isn't expected to be completed until the end of summer.