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TxDOT: Border West Expressway project behind schedule

BORDER WEST EXPRESSWAY PROJECT

Drivers in El Paso are getting slammed with a construction delay that's going to keep roads slow.

The Border West Expressway is behind schedule by a year.

"It turned out there were multiple factors that made it kind of an unreasonable schedule to adhere to," Jennifer Wright, with the Texas Department of Transportation, said.

The project extends over the border fence, which means federal agencies have to get involved in order forconstruction in certain zones to proceed.

"Bridge 17 runs on the other side of the border fence. That brought in IBWC and CBP. So two big agencies, International Boundary and Water Commission and (U.S.) Customs (and) Border Patrol (Protection) need to be involved," Wright said.

Construction schedules have had to be changed to work with train schedules too because of some construction over railroads.

These aren't the only things adding to the extended timeline.

"We've also added to the project so there's been an increase to the scope of the project," Wright said.

While the budget isn't affected, drivers said they're still annoyed by the delay.

"It's very inconvenient. I drive to school everyday and it's going to take me long for another year," Natalie Ontiveros said.

"I just think it's a major inconvenience but I guess it is what it is. What are we going to do?" Angel Cuevas said.

Ontiveros and Cuevas, both of El Paso, said they drive through at least one of the construction zones frequently.

"You just have to prepare for that. You have to leave earlier than you usually do. As you do, you try to leave with some time to spare so you're not there bumper-to- bumper," Cuevas said.

Drivers will have no choice but to hope for the best with another year of Border West Expressway work.

"I just hope things go smoother this time around. Don't slack off," Cuevas said.

Crews have still been working round the clock. The transportation department says it has moved teams to other zones to continue working while they wait for approval from agencies.

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