West El Paso drivers say they plan their day around traffic
EL PASO, Texas —
Drivers say they are fed up with traffic on the westside, and two major construction projects are to blame.
At 5 p.m., in the middle of rush hour on Thursday, traffic on Mesa Street is at a crawl. It’s a similar situation on Interstate 10.
Those are the only roads to take if you are heading west, and it’s been a major pain for west El Paso drivers.
The Texas Department of Transportation says its Go 10 Project is on schedule, but it won’t be done until 2019.
“In El Paso we've been very spoiled up until now. We have not experienced this severe congestion that other cities across the state experience and have experienced for years,” said Jennifer Wright, a spokeswoman for TxDOT.
Paisano Drive remains closed for the Border West Expressway, and TxDOT said there have been major delays for the entire Border West Expressway project.
“The Border West Expressway was slated to be complete by fall of 2017. Now that job is experiencing some delays and that's owed to the fact that that it is monumental. We've never had a project as large as that and it involves many entities in order to build that roadway,” Wright said.
Matthew Gonzales, who lives in west El Paso, said the traffic has him spending more than an hour in the car on a daily basis.
“If they've ever been to LA, or the west coast, or far east coast, it's exactly like that. It's horrible. There's only two ways out to the far west side, and that's Mesa and the freeway itself. There's no other exterior roads, except the back way on Stanton, and even Stanton goes so far, “Gonzales said.
Gonzales said the traffic changes what he does after work. He doesn’t go out to eat, or see friends if it’s going to get him stuck in traffic.
Romelia Beard said she and her family have gotten stuck in traffic regularly.
“Everyone wants to get home. They have children, they have families and they told us it's going to get worse before gets better. What are we going to do, be bound to our houses because by 2 o'clock nobody can go to their houses anymore for four years? Give me a break,” Beard said.
Drivers are asked to be patient and obey traffic laws as the construction continues.