Portion of I-10 and Paisano to close on Sunday
EL PASO, Texas —
A portion of Interstate 10 and Paisano Drive in west El Paso will be closed on Sunday.
All eastbound and westbound lanes on I-10 from Sunland Park Drive to Executive Center Boulevard will be shut down from 3 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Additionally, Paisano Drive will be closed at Sunland Park Drive and Executive Center Boulevard.
Crocket Street will also be closed between Sunland Park Drive and Paisano Drive.
The closure is required so that El Paso Electric crews can work on structures related to the Texas Department of Transportation I-10 Collector Project.
"El Paso Electric is relocating some transmission lines which will be strung across both roadways," said Bob Bielek, TXDOT's district engineer for El Paso.
Crews will remove two transmission structures between Sunland Park and Paisano drives, install new structures on both sides of I-10 and replace existing wire.
"This is the first stage of what they are doing. They will be doing another stage in approximately two weeks," Bielek said.
The closure of these two major highways leaves drivers with Mesa as their only option to get through the west side.
However, an event planned at UTEP on the same day and at the same time could cause even more traffic congestion.
"UTEP is having the Monster Truck Jam on Sunday as well, which starts at 2 o'clock, so a lot of that traffic will start hitting probably around noon," Bielek said. "Mesa is going to be packed."
However, Mesa will be the only option for emergency vehicles as well, meaning response times could go up. El Paso police will be out along Mesa to monitor the traffic, but Bielek offered this warning for drivers:
"If you can avoid or wait until after 3 o'clock in the afternoon or if you can avoid traveling in that area at all it it's just better for everyone."
The last major road closure like this happened in November. That time, El Paso Electric crews were able to finish their scheduled work about three hours ahead of schedule.
"We are hoping that that same thing will occur but we can't guarantee it," Bielek said.
This closure is stage one of the project. TXDOT said another shutdown is scheduled to happen in two weeks.
All eastbound traffic must exit on Sunland Park Drive, then turn left onto Sunland Park, followed by a right on Mesa Street. Commuters can take Mesa Street to downtown or turn right on Executive Center Boulevard get onto the I-10 eastbound ramp.
All westbound traffic must exit Executive Center Boulevard and turn right on Executive Center.
Commuters can take Mesa Street to I-10 or turn left on Sunland Park Drive to the I-10 westbound ramp.
Mesa Street between Executive Center Boulevard and Sunland Park Drive could potentially have heavy traffic, as traffic will be diverted from the interstate to Mesa Street.
Phase two of the project will require additional closures on I-10 in the upcoming weeks. Tune in to KFOX14 for additional information as it becomes available.