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$800 million TxDoT projects won't cut through Buena Vista neighborhood

Updated: Tuesday, February 18 2014, 09:10 AM MST
$800 million TxDoT projects won

By: Bill Melugin
EL PASO, Texas -- Residents of a small west El Paso neighborhood in between two of the biggest future road projects in the city's history can breathe a little easier Monday night.

Texas Department of Transportation officials held a community meeting for those who live in Buena Vista, a tiny strip of land in between Interstate 10 and Paisano.

The topic was the Border Highway west expansion and the addition of collector distributor lanes would affect their homes. The projects are estimated to cost $800 million and finish by early 2018.

"We were worried it was going to encroach into the community, maybe the park would be gone, everybody's scared because of the fact that it's already happened," said Roberto Salas, who has lived in Buena Vista his entire life. "This community has been a little island, it's been razored by I-10, the new 85, the dam, and so all we're left is a tiny little island, a little skeleton left behind, and we're trying to preserve what we have."

But TXDOT officials told the community they don’t have anything to worry about other than heavy traffic during the construction.

"Unfortunately, yes, there will be some impacts in terms of construction mostly, but fortunately for the neighborhood, we are not acquiring any property directly for the construction of either loop 375 or the I-10 lane project,” said Eduardo Calvo, the El Paso planning director for TXDOT. "These are very necessary, very needed projects, and it'll be painful, but at the end well have much needed improvements to our transportation network.”

"We're interested in preserving our little community, our village, it's actually a village within a city,” Salas said. “It was nice to see these people show up and clear it up, and seeing the animations (TXDOT provided a video), when we saw that, that was a great example, and people now understand what we’re dealing with.”

$800 million TxDoT projects won't cut through Buena Vista neighborhood
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