$19.5 million contract for Montana BRIO line to go before City Council


    The Sun Metro BRIO is looking to expand. On Tuesday, the El Paso City Council will decide whether to award a contract to begin construction on the Montana BRIO line.

    Some El Pasoans say the expansion will be good for the city.

    "There's a lot of members of our community that need transportation, and I really feel it's (a) need in the city,” Mario Chavez said.

    "It's going to help with expansion. We're growing, so we need as (much) transportation as possible,” Brenda Guerrero said.

    "It's going to help El Pasoans get around, and it'll also be good because not a lot of people own cars,” Hugo Trevizo said.

    The $19,583,784.49 contract is scheduled to go to Venegas Engineering Management and Construction Inc. The project will build 24 new BRIO stops along Montana Avenue, from Copia in central El Paso to Tierra Etse on the far east side of town. The line is also scheduled to send riders to the Five Points transit center on Montana Avenue near Piedras Street.

    Some who live on the far east side of El Paso say the route could help bring people to one of the more rapidly expanding areas.

    "We see here that people from the east side go all the way to the west side because there's businesses over there that we want to see,” DeAndre Davis said.

    “Now, there's an option for people that are over there to come over here, see the businesses that we have over here."

    Some people, like Mikey Campos, say the expansion will give people a cost-effective way of getting to work.

    "If they don't have a car, any means of transportation can help out, because car expenses and everything can run $400 to $500. People can't afford that, especially if they are working these kinds of jobs," Campos said.

    According to the presentation that will go before the council on Tuesday, the project could take up to 19 months to complete and result in lane closures on the heavily-traveled thoroughfare.

    However, people say they are used to construction and how long projects can take to finish.

    "We already do wait, so I don't think it's going to be a big issue,” Davis said. “If we see the end product and we enjoy it, we won't mind."

    The project will also include two park-and-ride stations for those looking to ride the new Montana route.

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