Improvements to two El Paso bridges that accommodate up to four million passenger and commercial vehicles a year are expected to soon get underway, now that the project has secured more than $33 million in funding.
Members of the El Paso City Council have given their approval to a plan designed not only to add more lanes to the International Bridges, but also hopefully shorten long lines and congestion.
The Bridge of the Americas is made up of four structures: two four-lane bridges for passenger vehicles, and two two-lane bridges for trucks.
The structures cross the Rio Grande connecting El Paso with Ciudad Juarez.
Under the management of the city’s International Bridges Department, the bridge upgrading and improvement project is expected to take 5 years to complete, and could also see redesigned pick-up areas, additional inspection lanes, the installation of new technology to monitor and facilitate traffic, and enhanced Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility.
The extensive upgrading project is the result of studies conducted by a group called the Bridges Steering Committee, which has worked with the city in an effort to prioritize bridge infrastructure needs.
The plan hammered together by the committee and department is the first such comprehensive approach to bridge infrastructure needs in El Paso history.
By Garry Boulard
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