TXDOT developing plan for traffic issues along Horizon Boulevard

    Horizon Boulevard<p>{/p}

    The far-eastern portion of the county continues to grow at a rapid pace.

    But it’s brought its share of traffic issues, especially along Horizon Boulevard.

    The Texas Department of Transportation is developing a plan to identify transportation needs along Horizon Boulevard from Socorro City to Horizon City.

    At the first of several community meetings on Tuesday night, people got to vote on the most important needs on Horizon Boulevard -- things like better traffic flow, more lighting, and pedestrian safety.

    The Horizon Boulevard Corridor Master Plan will study a 9.4-mile section of Horizon Boulevard between Alameda Avenue and Ascension Street.

    Members of the community are getting to share their input as part of the study.

    Many people say that it’s become super dangerous to drive on Horizon Boulevard for multiple reasons.

    The roadway is 50 plus years old and was not designed to hold so much traffic.

    TxDOT district engineer Bob Bielek told KFOX14 the growth in the county areas has shifted from mostly rural to urban which is creating transportation challenges.

    The sudden residential growth is impacting major roadways like Horizon Boulevard, which was built to be a farm to market road.

    “We can identify where the crashes have occurred, we can forecast where the traffic is going to increase. What we don’t know is all of the things that people who use this all the time face,” said TxDOT El Paso District engineer Bob Bielek.

    Bielek told KFOX14 there is a projected population increase of 50,000 by the year 2040.

    Horizon Boulevard is not equipped to handle that growth.

    There have reportedly been 1,000 accidents on the road in the last five years.

    “I think three days ago there was an accident -- same thing. It’s the same accident all the time and so we need to improve that,” said Horizon resident Mary Bowles Gasca.

    “I use daily Horizon and I-10 to go pick up my baby and that area is so congested, so I would like to see some improvement in that intersection,” said Horizon resident Karla Rios.

    The next community meeting is scheduled on Wednesday, Feb. 21, from 5-7 pm at Socorro City Hall.

    The study is expected to be completed in a year.

    From there, TxDOT can begin putting the projects in action.

    The study is identifying short, medium and long term needs — this means that the earliest we can start seeing projects is two-to-fiveyears from now, but engineers will also plan ahead for projects decades from now.

    You can also share your input online at the TxDOT website if you can’t make this week’s meetings.

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