City of El Paso, TxDOT Embark in Operations Plan for Ports of Entry
The City of El Paso and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) are undertaking a new effort called the Regional Ports of Entry Operations Plan, the City of El Paso International Bridges Department announced.
The Regional Ports of Entry Operations Plan focuses on how to best utilize existing border crossings in the El Paso-Juárez metropolitan area – from Santa Teresa, New Mexico to Tornillo/Guadalupe – in an effort to facilitate international travel and trade. The City of El Paso teamed up with TxDOT on this new effort after suspending a study of a new border crossing within the El Paso city limits. The Regional Ports of Entry Operations Plan will explore the impacts and benefits of a variety of potential operational improvement strategies, such as:
· Expanding or restricting the use of FAST or SENTRI lanes;
· Implementing congestion pricing at some crossings (i.e., charging higher tolls at peak traffic hours);
· Making traffic flow changes, such as restricting some ports to commercial traffic only or making some two-way bridges one-way.
The transportation, economic, and environmental implications of these and other strategies will be assessed, and immediate, short, medium, and long-term recommendations, including finance plans, will be summarized within a regional implementation plan.
The development of the Regional Ports of Entry Operations Plan will include extensive public involvement and outreach to ensure that all interested groups in the El Paso area actively engaged in the planning, development, and implementation of the Plan. Public involvement and outreach activities will start this spring and the plan should be completed within twelve months.