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Zaragoza overpass project to open earlier than scheduled

Updated: Friday, November 8 2013, 12:01 PM MST
Zaragoza overpass project to open earlier than scheduled story image

By: Chrisdyann Uribe

EL PASO, Texas— Drivers on one side of town have one more thing to be grateful for this Thanksgiving after the new Zaragoza Direct Connectors Project opens earlier than anticipated. 

The thought of the Montwood and Zaragoza intersection on the far east side of town often makes drivers cringe. But with the ongoing construction work the owner of a dog grooming shop nearby is ready to roll over and play dead.

"It's pretty bad. It backs up to the Vista Market. It bottlenecks right in front of our shopping center," said Lawrence Ehler, owner of The Dog Stop. 

Ehler faces the traffic congestion daily as his business offers delivery service. 

"We do the pickup and delivery and it does affect getting out of the shopping center. There is a line a mile long on Zaragoza," said Ehler.

It's a big problem for him, but his customers also have a bone to pick with the delays.
"They complain about it all the time. They complain about the U-turn, they complain that it's backed up or ask if there is another direction they can take to get here," said Ehler.

Drivers can say goodbye to the orange cones because on Nov. 22 they will be given the green light to go onto the Zaragoza direct connectors.

After two years of construction, the overpass to and from Loop 375 will be opened earlier than scheduled.

"We're scheduled ahead of time. We are scheduled to open, if weather cooperates and everything goes well, before Thanksgiving," said Blanca Del Valle, spokesperson for TXDOT.

The city is hoping this will relieve congestion on Montwood Drive and Zaragoza Road, a path Lawrence uses to deliver the dogs.

"The traffic accumulates there and now it is going to move. You can move on and exit at the direct connectors," says Del Valle.

Lawrence hopes that once the overpass is open, it will let traffic flow and tails will continue to wag.

Zaragoza overpass project to open earlier than scheduled
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