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Friday, February 14, 2014 - 9:09pm
EL PASO — A plan to alleviate traffic to Juarez and the Border Highway area might mean the historic Lincoln Center will have to be destroyed.
Senator Jose Rodriguez and members of the Lincoln Park Conservation Committee made it clear they oppose the plan which they said they were unaware of.
"None of us were focused on the possibility the center might be destroyed," Rodriguez said.
The Texas Department of Transportation plans on connecting the Border Highway to I-10 with a ramp on the landmark property.
"The problem is the ramp that goes from I-10 up to U.S. 54 essentially goes through the second floor of the Lincoln Center," said TxDOT Traffic Engineer Bob Bielek.
Rodriguez and the conservation committee said the original plan they had seen preserved Lincoln Center.
But Bielek said the original plan would not properly allow traffic to flow on the ramp and could be dangerous for motorists.
"Either the traffic from Juarez will block everything or the traffic trying to go to Border Highway will block everything," Bielek said.
Bielek added about six or seven homes could also be demolished to make way for the new ramps and some businesses would also be impacted with the current plan.
But engineers believe they can rework the designs to save most of the home but the center would remain in jeopardy.
TxDOT said they will continue looking at possible alternatives and hopefully come up with at least three options when public input meetings begin in about six months.