Rojas widening project extended until summer due to construction roadblocks

Rojas widening project

Expect those orange barrels to be out a bit longer in Far East El Paso and Horizon.

The Rojas widening project is extended until summertime.

The barrels and barricades will be up for at least four to six more months.

The reason? Some unexpected utility lines that tied up construction.

With traffic getting worse during rush hour, drivers say they’re not excited for more roadwork.

“If I have to deal with it, I have to deal with it but I’d prefer not to. I’d prefer for them to just get everything done as soon as possible,” said Horizon resident Roberto Rocha.

On Wednesday, the Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority extended its agreement with the project’s engineering firm.

Construction was supposed to end this month, but will now go until mid to late summer.

Crews encountered multiple utility lines that made construction more difficult.

All utility lines within city limits are mapped out, but that is not the case outside of those boundaries.

“Out in the county, you don’t have the same kind of recording system, so you find unforeseen utilities,” said CRRMA Executive Director Raymond Telles.

Telles told KFOX14 the cost of the project will go up by $154,000 but won’t affect taxpayers.

“You know you’re going to find stuff you didn’t know about. You know you’re going to run into troubles you weren’t expecting, so you put away some contingency funds. And we’ve done that. So we’re pulling this $154,000 out from that contingency so we’re still within that project budget,” Telles said.

Drivers think longer construction will be a hassle.

“I know it has to be done but at the same time they should have went into more detailed planning to make sure that the construction got done on time,” said Horizon resident Angelo Lisondra.

But Lisondra told KFOX14 he recognizes that the roadwork is the cost of living in a fast-growing area.

“We need those businesses in Horizon so I guess we just need to be patient and take time,” he said.

By the time the project is complete, Rojas' drive will be a six-lane divided roadway.

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