The Texas department of transportation recently told city council that the bridges going over I-10 in the downtown area will all have to be replaced.

Our streetcars have not even started to operate and now we are being told that they will have to be re-routed since they travel over two of the bridges.

It would be hard to make this stuff up.

We deserve better


19 Responses to Derailed

  1. The Oracle says:

    AFTER the STREETCARS / line and refurbishing had already been approved I ASKED the El Paso Fire Department if they had been contacted by the city to see how streetcars and it’s above lines would interfere with Fire Truck Ladder Trucks and ESPECIALLY since the Ladder Trucks would mostly be used DOWNTOWN and they said: “No”.
    The city . . . did not ASK.

    Sooooooo, The city would not ask questions that would de-rail their streetcar plans.
    I guess they did not ASK the Texas Dept. of Transportation about the condition of bridges either. And, no one that was hired (streetcar rail installation engineers and streetcar consultants) did not ASK, or ask them, to ASK the Tx. Dept. of Trans. about bridges.


  2. The Oracle says:

    Those bridges are from the 1960’s.


  3. Tax Dollars at Work says:

    Left Hand, let me introduce you to Right Hand.


  4. Jud Burgess says:

    “Svarzbein’s Daft Trolley”

    Read one of my most popular blogposts that reveals city leaders typical lack of understanding of what most El Pasoans really want—


    • JerryK says:

      The one I liked was his newsletter touting the trolleys as reminding us of who we are. Yeah, sure…suckers.


  5. Anonymous says:

    So now how much track has to be torn up to “Reroute” the CITY COUNCILS little trolley THEY want?? If ignorance were a disease with these politicians, we the people would have a serious “Out-break” on our hands. Tax, waste, spend, tax some more, waste more. BILLIONS$$$$ in debt that WE can never pay and THEY just keep spending, wasting. Where is the BANKRUPTCY????


    • Helen Marshall says:

      The bankruptcy is on its way, just a question of when. Maybe we should set up a betting game…whoever guesses the correct date will get a free move out of town…


  6. Old Fart says:

    To rebuild I-10, all the way from the Texas/NM line to the far east county, will be very costly and you are talking billions. This is now only a study, and if approved will take years just to get the funding to begin building, so it will have to be done in stages. Add to that, all member organizations of the MPO will be pushing for their parts of the interstate to be funded first.

    If you want to follow this item, call the MPO or simply ask your city council member to help you get the TXDOT briefing charts.

    The MPO films its meetings, so call and ask when their meetings are on the public access channel.

    And thanks to Jud Burgess for the interesting picture.


  7. Miguel says:

    TXDOT has long said that the concrete that makes up the Executive Center to Airways portion of I-10 has reached its engineered end-of-life and must be replaced. Same goes for the bridges of the same age that span the Downtown section of I-10. The plan TXDOT discussed with city council recently will not happen for years — I would guess we’re 15-20 years out — and likely not until they have built the Border Highway West extention as well as the connector ramps between I-10 and Border Highway near the Spaghetti Bowl. You should look at their ideas for what would replace the downtown bridges — everything from rebuilding them as is to making a giant Downtown-wide roundabout to (my favorite) putting I-10 in a tunnel underneath a parkway above. They’re available on the public meetings section of TXDOT’s El Paso District page.


    • Get a Grip says:

      At a public meeting, TxDot spokesperson told me “probably 20 years or so.” As you said, there is no money scheduled and there are other state-wide projects that have priority.


  8. Helen Marshall says:

    People I know at TxDOT say that they tried to tell Sun Metro about the bridges issue and were brushed off..


  9. Rico Suave says:

    “London bridge is falling down, falling down”…oh wait wrong city.


  10. Tom Busch says:

    Ok. I’m confused. I’m trying to figure out how to re route the trolley. It has to cross I-10 to get to the downtown stops and the depot on Santa Fe.


  11. good governance oxymoron says:

    This is part of the Reimagine I-10 project and they are in the 2nd round of public meetings and the 3rd and final meeting will be sometime this summer. The 1st round of public meetings was last summer

    There is no funding for this project.

    They divided I-10 into 4 segments and this was a meeting for the downtown segment 2.

    They are presenting concepts to the public that are under evaluation and asking for public input and recommendations

    Here is the link to the page

    Here is the Downtown Concept Animation with 3 concepts they have modeled.


  12. Anonymous says:

    So how will all this affect the date when the streetcars start running and specifically running across I-10?


    • good governance oxymoron says:

      My understanding is the streetcar launch date is sometime this summer.

      Unless CC delays, which they won’t because elections are coming up, it will start as planned and continue until the bridge rebuild is approved and funded.

      The I-10 master plan will not be complete until end of 2018. Then it has to clear the City before it goes to the MPO etc. so I doubt anything would start until end of 2019.

      Bielek brought up the bridges and the trolley because according to him at a minimum the bridges have to be rebuilt. He stated:

      1. they are 50 years into their 75 year life

      2. they were not built to hold the current weight load

      3. they do not provide enough clearance for I-10. I-10 is a designated trade corridor which requires a certain clearance which these bridges do not meet.


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