27-hour closure affects El Paso drivers as I-10's Mesa overpass is demolished
EL PASO, Texas (KFOX14) -- —
Eastbound Interstate 10 was scheduled to be closed at Mesa street for a 27-hour closure, but the Texas Department of Transportation opened up I-10 east at Mesa around 10 p.m. Saturday night.
The highway shutdown started early Sunday and was supposed to last through Monday morning.
Pieces of the Mesa overpass were crashing to the ground all day long. People passing by were able to watch construction crews tear apart the concrete bridge. The Texas Department of Transportation said crews will work on overdrive to finish everything within the 27-hour time frame. Drivers KFOX14 spoke with actually did not mind the closures. Most of them said it would be worth it.
"Oh yeah! Definitely! It will be worth it," East El Paso resident Roberto Rodriguez said. "The bigger, probably the faster you can get anywhere else or anything like that, right? But yeah, I think maybe to other people it would be like, 'nah nah 24 hours is way too much,' you know what I mean? I would love it. Whatever helps us."
"Yeah, it's going to be inconvenient for a while, but as long as they resolve the issue in a timely manner like they said they would, then OK," West El Paso resident Eric Ramirez said.
All of the businesses nearby are still open, but drivers said they are hard to get to. All of the debris seemed to be contained within the road blocks, but the demolition is stirring up a lot of dust.
"We are actually headed to Albuquerque right now,” Rodriguez said. “My little niece is hungry and we are about to go to McDonald's. But I guess we can't after this. We are going to go all the way around and then maybe come back. If not, we will probably choose another restaurant up the street."
"Earlier this morning, I was going to go that way. Then I had saw it, and I had to take I-10 West in order to go all of the way around. Because I live up this way,” Ramirez said. “So I couldn't make the U-turn, so I had to go all the way back around."
"I walk frequently over here because this is the closest convenience store to get cigarettes,” said Dakota Scheiderer, who moved to West El Paso three months ago.
By Monday morning, eastbound traffic will be flowing on what is the new median of the I-10 overpass. What used to be the eastbound lanes will be gone completely.
"If in the future it becomes more convenient to get to work or whatever, I don't see the issue,” Ramirez said. "If they think it's going to be bigger and better, then why not?"
Construction crews will be working on the demolition throughout Sunday night. Eastbound I-10 at Mesa will reopen at 6 a.m. Monday. Drivers will use that median for at least the next four months. Most El Pasoans said they will just live with it and leave a little earlier.
"Yeah it's kind of frustrating, but you know, what can I do about it?” Ramirez said. “There's nothing you can do, just accept it and move on."
"You know, it insinuates that it is going to be something better,” Scheiderer said. "Doing it in a quick manner would just be the best thing."