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Monday, March 17, 2014 - 7:12pm
El Paso, TX (KDBC) — El Paso County Commissioners are moving closer to completing the $24-million Tornillo Port of Entry. Commissioners unanimously approved all the motions needed in order to move to the next phase of the project, which includes constructing a roadway from Alameda onto I-10.
The port is looking ready for business, all it needs is a road. “Phase II is the actual roadway and the bridge from interstate 10 going Southeast to Texas 20 Alameda,” Ernesto Carrizal, El Paso County’s Public Works Director said. El Paso County Commissioners unanimously agreed on 8 motions that were needed for the project to enter phase 2. Commissioners said once the road is built, businesses will follow. Many of which may offer to truck drivers. "I think every body's just waiting for the bridge to be complete and traffic to start moving in and then we'll start seeing the businesses popping up more and more."
Carrizal said the county will look at vehicle registration fees, 2012 bonds, and road and bridge fees to fund the $17-million phase. The county has already put down $7-million for Phase 1. County Commissioners believe the new port is worth every penny. "We refer to them as once-in-a-lifetime projects that are very complex,” Vince Perez, County Commissioner for Precinct 3 said.
The county now has to acquire land in order to build the road, "It could be a mix of farmland and state lands. But he doesn't anticipate any problems with the land acquisition.” Officials said they’re hoping to bid out the project by November of this year and expect completion by late 2015.
El Paso County isn’t finished talking about the project. On Thursday they will host a meeting to discuss the vehicle registration funding as well as other aspects of the Tornillo Port of Entry project. That meeting will be held at 9 am inside the Judge’s Chambers of the 3rd floor of the County Court.
Mexico has already started building the port on their side and have estimated completion by this Summer.