El Paso Times Staff
Article Launched: 09/04/2007 12:00:00 AM MDT
Northeast El Paso is getting a $367 million face change. The city doesn’t pay. This one’s on the state.
And on top of that, it’s first-time-ever news in regards to how this comes to pass.
The new seven-mile spur connecting Loop 375 to U.S. 54 is the state’s first private-sector pass-through financing agreement.
Private company J.D. Abrams will finance, design and build the spur. Texas will then reimburse the company over time.
This arrangement cuts into the wait time for the Texas Department of Transportation to get on a project.
We need the spur because Fort Bliss needs the spur so it can fulfill its mission of Future Combat Systems, including the acceptance of some 20,000 additional soldiers, plus their families. Fort Bliss money will go into El Paso’s economy.
We need this spur because it will immediately help alleviate truck traffic congestion, especially that from the El Paso International Airport’s Air Cargo Center. Airport traffic heading east will be able to access Interstate 10 way out in far East El Paso.
We need this spur because it will be a quick connection between Northeast El Paso and East El Paso.
The project is to begin this fall and is to take three years to complete.
This new freeway will go over Fred Wilson Avenue to Airport Road. It will continue along Walter Jones Boulevard to Loop 375. Included is a new entrance to Fort Bliss.
Success of this first-ever private-sector pass-through financing agreement could mean El Paso gets other much-needed road projects sooner rather than later. They would likely include a Northeast Parkway to alleviate Interstate 10 traffic through Downtown and a Southern Relief Route which would fully complete Loop 375.
This is the first step. It’s good news.