Study finds 'spaghetti bowl' shut down could means millions lost in trade

Updated: Friday, July 11 2014, 09:33 PM MDT
Study finds

By: Stacey Welsh
EL PASO, Texas -- A new study finds shutting down a main thoroughfare in El Paso could mean multimillion-dollar loss to the local economy. Researchers from Texas A&M University specifically looked into how a mass closure at the Interstate 10 and U.S. 54 interchange could impact trade with Mexico.
"It's basically chaos, especially on the Mexican side with people trying to cross over in the mornings. It's gridlock everywhere," researcher Jeff Shelton said
Some drivers told KFOX14 they already avoid the "spaghetti bowl" interchange during rush hour and are afraid a mass closure there would shut down the area.
"If you leave after 7:30 a.m. for work, it gets backed up and everybody is slamming on their brakes," northeast El Paso resident Margie Annotico said.
Researchers found closing access to the spaghetti bowl and the Bridge of the Americas Port of Entry to Juarez, Mexico, means freight trucks would not be able to get through.
"It will be about $2.5 million of economic losses of just freight coming back and forth across the bridge on a daily basis," Shelton said.
The study calls for more investment in local infrastructure to prevent a mass closure from happening.
"Something like this could happen, and we need to have some kind of contingency plan in place. The sooner we start preparing, the better it will be," Shelton said.

Study finds 'spaghetti bowl' shut down could means millions lost in trade
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