Infrastructure Money Comes To El Paso With ‘Deck Plaza,’ Do We Really Need One?
Do you know that part of Interstate 10 near downtown where it FEELS like you’re going through a tunnel? Now, what if that stretch of I-10 were covered and the “roof” of the tunnel used as a public green space? That’s the idea from the Paso Del Norte Community Foundation. They first approached City Council back in March of 2021 with the plan that would, essentially, put a roof over I-10 from Yandell Street to North Campbell. The space would then be used for things like parks, trails, youth sports, festival gatherings, and as a venue for concerts.
Not everybody in the city government is on board but the project got a big boost earlier this month in the form of a grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The $900,000 grant obviously wouldn’t be enough to actually BUILD the thing. But, proponents say, the grant would cover for design and feasibility studies and, since we’ve got the cash, we should do it.
Here’s a report KVIA did back in March that gives you an idea of the scope and footprint of the proposed project.
The El Paso project is based on something they’ve already done successfully in Dallas. The Klyde Warren Park is literally on top of the Woodall Rodgers Freeway in downtown Dallas. The price tag for the Dallas project was $112 million and the city says the park generates about 15 million just in taxes each year. Klyde Warren Park is a 5.2-acre footprint, whereas El Paso’s proposed park would cover 12 acres. It’s unclear if the project would cost proportionately more for the extra 6.8 acres.
Our news partners, KVIA, also did a recent follow-up showing what the Dallas deck plaza looks like and how it’s used: