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El Paso street resurfacing project makes east side progress
By: Stacey Welsh
EL PASO, Texas -- While some streets like Montwood Drive have seen repairs in the last year, many east side residents said they would like the city to make other roads smoother.
"I have a low setting car at the front end. There are bumps, especially at Zaragoza Road and Rich Beem Boulevard. I've also noticed toward George Dieter Drive, it's really bumpy," far east El Paso resident Deanna White said.
El Paso Transportation Director Ted Marquez said the city's Street Resurfacing Program prioritizes streets that need repairs. The City Council approved the program a couple of years ago to allocate $210 million toward repairing streets in 10 years. Marquez said the city took every street in El Paso into consideration.
"What we try to do is base it on the need, not just on complaints. If something happens, for example, we have a weather event and the street gets in worse condition, then obviously we manage that priority," Marquez said.
With even more homes going up in far east El Paso neighborhoods, Marquez said the city will have to take on more responsibility for street maintenance. However, that doesn't mean hiring new city employees.
"We keep the maintenance portion inside with city forces, but the construction and repairs is done by contractors. It's more efficient doing it that way than trying to get more people into the ranks, and having to buy equipment and materials," Marquez said.
Some streets, like Rojas Drive, needed complete resurfacing, where crews tear up the street and repave it. The city repaired others, like Montwood, with construction called "microsurfacing." Marquez said that could be less expensive and faster.
"We heat the surface of it. We don't remove it, we take all the bumps out. Then we apply a very thin layer on top of that," Marquez said.
Marquez said people can call 311 to report any problems with streets and the city would look into those concerns.
Some intersections with heavy traffic also require concrete pavement instead of asphalt in repairs. The city repaired east side streets in the past couple of years since the program started; the next step for crews is working on Lower Valley streets.