TxDOT Wants To “Fix” I-10 At Downtown But Here’s What Their “Fix” Of Mesa Looks Like
If you drive on Mesa on the westside you know that it isn't an easy ride. Since before the pandemic, TxDOT road crews have been working to repave the vital west El Paso roadway after it took a beating during road construction on I-10. Traffic from I-10 was often diverted onto Mesa and it put a lot of stress and strain on a roadway that was not designed or built to handle the amount of traffic it saw during the years of I-10 construction.
TxDOT is in the business of road construction and maintenance of the state of Texas' roads, but they do a pretty poor job of the whole thing as is evidenced by the way they have left Mesa in the UTEP and Executive Center area of the road. I drive from Executive to Montana every day and it is ridiculous how TxDOT has left things. Here are some of the photos I took on Thursday morning.
1. Uneven pavement and construction barrel - The semi-circle of concrete on the ground is a tire-eater. The pavement isn't just uneven, there are also deep holes, including the one that is marked by the barrel.
2. Trashy median - Not only trashy but neglected with weeds. Yes, we've had a lot of rain but these weeds aren't a week old or two weeks old. They are months old and all the medians need tending.
3. Uneven pavement - If you've driven over these you know they are speed bump height and with the loose gravel it's a slippery area and dangerous when you're facing oncoming traffic and trying to turn left.
4. Uneven pavement and loose gravel - Gravel gets kicked up when people try to turn left because they are trying to get traction on the loose gravel. Then there's the speed bump height uneven pavement again. I'm sensing a pattern.
5. The manholes of death - These manhole covers are about 5 inches off the "pavement" and will eat your tires and destroy your alignment. But the best thing is you can't always avoid them so good luck with that.
6. Really neglected landscaping - It's not bad enough that the weeds are taking over the median, the actual landscaping is so poorly maintained that it should just be chopped down to ground level and be allowed to regenerate.
7. This turn lane is finished - Just kidding. It looks like another tire-eating, bone-rattling turn lane that will destroy your alignment and your back because of the uneven pavement.
8. Art installation - Nope, sorry, it's just a forgotten port-a-potty for the non-existent TxDOT crews who are no longer working on this stretch of Mesa. Hopefully people who are stuck in traffic aren't using it, although at least they would be offered some amenity from TxDOT during their time on the hellscape that is Mesa.
Now TxDOT wants to "fix" the I-10 corridor in downtown El Paso. They say it's too narrow for traffic but in reality, the traffic there is heavy because the "fix" of the Loop system to reroute big rigs around the city instead of through it has never been enforced. Instead, TxDOT wants to pretend like it's going to do us a big favor by throwing $61.9 million at us for the extensive project but the whole thing is expected to cost $750 million, and we all know that number will go up. It always does.
I'll write more about this unnecessary widening of I-10 in another article but please TxDOT, let's get Mesa wrapped up before we undertake another massive project, mmmkay?