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Crews work to reopen I-10 lanes after train derails
By: Stacey Welsh
EL PASO, Texas -- The Texas Department of Transportation said crews have been working nonstop to reopen Interstate 10 West after a train derailed Friday evening, damaging a pillar supporting the highway.
Westbound lanes at the Cotton Street exit are shut down. Seven cars of a Union Pacific trail derailed near Missouri Avenue, and officials said the investigation to find what caused the incident is ongoing.
"At this point, what we know is that the train passed all of its inspections when it left a yard in Kansas. It traveled safely all the way to El Paso, which is its final destination," Union Pacific corporate relations representative Raquel Espinoza said.
Contractors and employees from both TXDOT and Union Pacific are working to support the area with the damaged pillar.
"Then we will be able to go in and cut up the rail car that is next to the pillar and remove it from the area in parts. We are being very cautious and conducting a lot of inspections before we can open up lanes on I-10," Espinoza said.
To steer clear of the damage, TXDOT recommends taking the Cesar Chavez Border Highway to Santa Fe to Paisano. Drivers can also take US-54 northbound to Transmountain (Loop 375) to I-10.
Along with these alternate routes, the El Paso Police Department is detouring traffic through Wyoming back to I-10 West.west.
Drivers tell KFOX14 they expect the damage to cause delays in the next few weeks.
Officials expect I-10 could completely reopen in about three weeks, and three lanes opened Saturday evening after crews added support to the damaged pillar.
"We realize that this is a major thoroughfare for El Paso and that this is an inconvenience for the community. We apologize for that and appreciate everyone's patience as we work through this situation," Espinoza said.