El Pasoans Saturday commutes impacted by Friday's train derailment

KDBC
Saturday, October 19, 2013 - 11:35pm

Shortly after 7:30 Saturday evening, TxDOT crews reopened three lanes along I-10 West but said the two right lanes will remain closed until repairs can be done to make those lanes safe for drivers.

We asked a passenger from West El Paso if he expected the traffic. “No ma'am, I didn't. We came down the freeway and we saw this, it was pretty crazy,” Aaron Macias said. A major headache for El Paso drivers, as they were forced off I-10 onto Missouri. "Now, we're having to stay in line. It kind of sucks."

TxDOT crews worked all day Saturday, to repair the buckling overpass. It was about 8 Friday night when a Union Pacific train derailed breaking one cement pillar in half under the cotton overpass and cracking another. TxDOT shut down a portion of I-10 for safety reasons.

We asked a family from East El Paso going towards the Outlet Shoppes how their drive has been, "Right now, we're taking like 30 minutes from the Cielo Vista to here,” Marta Montañez told us.

The crippling situation delayed some El Pasoans who had scheduled events. But some drivers made the best of it. We noted that one man was in good spirits, “Oh yeah, sure. Of course, I just ate. I just ate,” Len Propst of East El Paso explained.

It wasn't just food that kept Propst in high spirits, it was planning. "It actually was pretty quick because we came down Yandell. We avoided all this mess because we didn't want to get caught up in it."

Other drivers weren't so lucky, a couple of motorists attempted to turn right on Missouri onto Walnut. They were turned back, and that scene may be a precursor to what the coming weeks might bring. "I'm going to avoid this area like the plague,” Propst said.

As TxDOT plans to keep two of the five lanes closed for the next two to three weeks. "Hopefully, it's going to be ready. If not, I don't know,” Montañez said.

Traffic has also been impacted on nearby streets while driving towards I-10 from our studios; we noticed westbound congestion on cotton going towards Montana.

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