El Paso-Ciudad Juárez commuters stress about road closures

Paulina Astrid Spencer, Staff Reporter

Commuters driving into Ciudad Juárez stress as the next phase of the Texas Department of Transportations (TxDOT) I-10 Connect Project begins closing off the exit on I-10 East and Westbound near the Americas Bridge. 

The Connect Project’s mission is to separate the traffic headed to Ciudad Juárez through different ramps on I-10 and Loop 375, allowing truck drivers to cross into Mexico without causing traffic jams on Paisano Drive and surrounding areas. The project is expected to be completed in about three years.

The current phase of construction is expected to take about nine months to complete. Four new connecting ramps will be built while the exit ramps from I-10 to U.S. 62 on Paisano Drive will be removed.

The recent construction and road closures have already begun to affect commuters and students who cross the border on a daily basis 

Javier Gomez-Rodriguez, 23, said it has been a hassle to find alternate routes because of construction going on in other areas of El Paso 

“I have to find another way to go to my house and sometimes those roads may also be closed due to construction,” Gomez-Rodriguez said 

Miguel Lopez, 23, stays on campus after finishing his classes to avoid heavy traffic on his way home to Juárez.  

Lopez said that he tends to avoid the Americas Bridge altogether. That means Lopez has to pay a fee to cross over other bridges, fees that add up over time 

“Whenever I’m in a hurry, I just go through other bridges even though I have to pay,” Lopez said. 

Lopez and Gomez-Rodriguez both recommend driving through Paisano Drive to get to the bridge and avoid the traffic congestion during peak hours.  

According to the TxDOT’s website, different exits will be closed for the week of Sept. 1 nightly starting at 9 p.m. Drivers are advised to take exit 22B (Pershing Drive) as a detour.  

To get information about road closures, TxDOT created a phone application that sends notifications straight to mobile phones. For information on the app, visit txdot.gov.  

Paulina Spencer may be reached at [email protected]