TxDOT asks motorists to seek alternate routes; Sunland Park flyover exit shuts down
EL PASO, Texas (KFOX14) —
Drivers in west El Paso will have to plan in order to avoid road closures in effect starting Monday evening.
"It's getting to the point where I don't like the color orange anymore,” Hilda Benulas said."There's orange signs all over the city."
The Texas Department of Transportation is conducting several road closures this week.
The Sunland Park flyover ramp to Interstate 10 East is undergoing construction. It will be shut down until April 30, according to TxDOT officials.
The Sunland Park Drive flyover entrance ramp to eastbound I-10 will be inaccessible. Crews will demolish and rebuild the pavement that connects the ramp to Sunland Park Drive. Once complete, the all-new Sunland Park flyover will open to traffic.
Interstate 10 in both directions will be closed from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday this week.
"It's already been, for the past month or month and a half, that's been tied up pretty well. That's been backed up past Cromo Street, just for people to get on or off, anyway,” Chris Green said.
"I think it's just going to be 10 times worse,” Natascha Galeana said. “So, I'm not looking forward to that."
Motorists headed southbound on Sunland Park Drive who want to enter I-10 eastbound will continue straight along Sunland Park Drive toward the signal at Paisano Drive, and then turn left and enter I-10 eastbound using the entrance ramp, TxDOT said.
Another major closure to be aware of happened around the Spaghetti Bowl area in central El Paso.
TxDOT said crews began installing light poles in the area Monday morning. The left lane closure will happen along Ramp B, which is U.S. 54 North to GatewayNorth, northbound between Yandell Drive to Ramp C, which is U.S. 54 Northto I-10 West. The U.S. 54 northbound Paisano Drive entrance ramp will be closed. The right lane on U.S. 54 northbound between Paisano Drive and Alameda Avenue will also be closed. This project will happen each day this week from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Some people are worried about how this flyover closure will affect traffic flowing down Sunland Park Drive. One of the biggest concerns is the blocking of intersections.
El Paso police are on the lookout for people blocking roadways. Some people hope law enforcement officers can prevent the heavily traveled road from getting too congested.
"We need more law enforcement to direct traffic,” Jose Sosa said.
"There's already problems before without law enforcement so I think that they should have someone there conducting traffic so people aren't blocking the intersection,” Galeana said.
"Police have a presence there. I think they probably do need to be, because it is obvious,” Green said. “People get into the middle of the intersection. People can't get through to the cross streets because they block it."
TxDOT is advising people to take other routes, such as Mesa Street and Doniphan Drive, to avoid the Sunland Park Drive closure. Some people are already planning to make sure thissituation doesn't get any worse.
"We kind of just do some planning ourselves so that we can be better prepared with the traffic that's out there,” Rosa Avila Compan said. “We ourselves can also help alleviate some of that."