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Pope in Juarez

UPDATE: City unveils traffic plans, changes for Pope’s visit to Juarez; Citizens invited to meetings starting Wednesday

During a Tuesday afternoon news conference, city leaders and police officials outlined their steps for crowd and traffic control during Pope Francis’ visit to the Borderland.

According to officials, the City of El Paso is preparing to impose traffic control and operational changes in the interest of public safety, health and welfare as a result of Pope Francis landmark visit to the border.

Pope Francis will be in Juárez on February 17, 2016. He will not visit El Paso. However, due to the proximity of his motorcade route and mass to the El Paso-Juárez border, the City of El Paso will restrict travel in downtown and South-Central El Paso.

Enhanced traffic control will also be necessary near the Sun Bowl where the Catholic Diocese of El Paso will have a celebration on the day of the Pope’s visit to commemorate the historic event.

Residents and business owners are invited to attend a series of community meetings to learn more about travel restrictions and traffic control plans, to include detours and road closures, planned for Downtown and South-Central El Paso as a result of the Pope’s visit to Juárez.

The travel restrictions and traffic control plans are necessary for the community’s health, safety and welfare. The same information will be provided at each of the meetings.

All three meetings will be held at the Armijo Recreation Center gymnasium at 700 E. Seventh Avenue. The meeting time and dates:

  • 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, January 27, 2016
  • 10:30  a.m. Thursday, January 28, 206
  • 6 p.m. Monday, February 1, 2016

Travel Updates, Road Closures

For safety purposes, the public is being asked to avoid traveling to downtown and South-Central El Paso on the day of the papal border visit. The City of El Paso will not provide any mass viewing areas related to the papal border visit. The Mass in Juárez will not be visible from El Paso roadways.

Loop 375 will be closed as part of security measures. The public will not be allowed to gather on Loop 375. The Information about the Diocese’s event at the Sun Bowl is available at http://www.elpasodiocese.org/popes-visit.html

The public’s cooperation and patience in abiding by the travel restrictions and enhanced traffic control in downtown, South-Central and West-Central will be appreciated.

El Paso Police and Fire officials have been meeting regularly with other public safety and law enforcement agencies to prepare for the visit and to coordinate efforts. Planned road closures and travel restrictions include:

  • Loop 375 from U.S. Highway-54 to Santa Fe will be closed in both directions to traffic (vehicular, pedestrian, bicycle, etc.) for approximately a 24-hour period starting at 3 a.m. on February, 17, 2016.
  • Loop 375 from U.S. Highway-54 to Yarbrough will be closed to traffic (vehicular, pedestrian, bicycle, etc.) from 10 a.m. until the Pope departs the Mass location and his motorcade travels away from roadways adjacent to the El Paso-Juárez.
  • City streets in South-Central El Paso bounded by Loop 375 to the south, Campbell to the west, Paisano to the north and Coles/First to the east will have limited access to traffic (vehicular, pedestrian, bicycle, etc.) starting at 3 a.m. on February 17, 2016. Access in the restricted area will be limited to residents and businesses.

o   Once Pope Frances arrives at the Mass location in Juárez no one will be allowed to leave or re-enter the restricted area until the Pope departs the mass.

  • Campbell from Paisano to Interstate 10 will be closed to vehicular traffic starting at 3 a.m. on February 17, 2016. The closure will remain until the Pope departs the mass.
  • Cotton from Paisano to Interstate 10 will be closed to vehicular traffic starting at 3 a.m. on February 17, 2016. The closure will remain until the Pope departs the mass.
  • Delta will be closed from Paisano to Boone will be closed to vehicular traffic starting at 3 a.m. on February 17, 2016. The closure will remain until the Pope departs the mass.
  • Additional closures may be necessary should plans related to the papal border visit change.

Community Meetings

The City of El Paso is hosting community meetings in South-Central to notify residents and businesses of traffic control plans impacting their neighborhoods. Three meetings will be held at the Armijo Recreation Center gymnasium at 700 E. Seventh Avenue. Meeting time and dates:

  • 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, January 27, 2016
  • 10:30 a.m. Thursday, January 28, 206
  • 6 p.m. Monday, February 1, 2016

International Bridges

All international ports of entry in the region, including Paso Del Norte, Stanton Street, and Ysleta, will be open in both directions on February 17, 2016.

The public is asked to plan ahead if traveling across the border. The Office of Emergency Management in El Paso recommends traveling across the border at least a day in advance for those planning on participating in papal events in Juárez.

Customs and Border Protection has committed to assisting with moving traffic steadily northbound at the border by having all lanes open onFebruary 17, 2016.

Commercial traffic will be rerouted on February 17, 2016 from the Bridge of the Americas to Ysleta to assist with mitigating traffic. Anyone traveling across the border should carry a current passport or border crossing card.

The public’s cooperation and patience will be appreciated at the Paso Del Norte, Stanton Street and Ysleta bridges as delays in getting through toll collection stations may occur due to the increase international travelers. Providing toll collectors with exact change will assist in keeping delays to a minimum.

Debit and credit card payments will be accepted. Mexican currency will also be accepted. Fare information is available at www.elpasotexas.gov/international-bridges/fares.

Sun Metro

Fixed routes will be serving customers traveling to downtown El Paso on February 17, 2016. They will have extended hours on that day with the last buses leaving at 10:15 p.m. Several Sun Metro routes will be detoured as a result of the planned road closures. Service delays should be expected for all routes serving the Downtown Transfer Center. Information about detoured routes is available at www.pope915.com and may be obtained by calling (915) 212-3333.

Park and Ride

Park and Ride services will be available to the Sun Bowl on February 17, 2016. Park and Ride roundtrip fare to the Sun Bowl is $3. Exact change is required. Parking is free at Sun Metro lots. Departures to the Sun Bowl will be scheduled for every 30 minutes between 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. at all locations. Park and Ride locations:

  • Eastside Transfer Center, 1165 Sunmount near Cielo Vista Mall
  • Far Eastside: Edgemere at R.C. Poe
  • Mission Valley Transfer Center, 9065 Alameda
  • Northeast Transfer Center, at Diana and Dyer
  • Al Jefferson Westside Transfer Center, 7535 Remcon

City Office Closures

The City of El Paso will be operating under a modified work week. All administrative offices will be open on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday andFriday. The city is working on Friday in lieu of its regular Wednesday work day due to the papal border visit. Essential personnel will follow a normal work schedule.

Stay Informed

Information about traffic control, travel and City service operational changes related to the papal border visit is available at www.pope915.com

The public may also access information by clicking on the Pope915 banner at the City’s homepage at www.elpasotexas.gov or by subscribing to social media using Twitter hashtag #pope915 or liking the City of El Paso on Facebook @ www.facebook.com/elpasotexasgov

Loop 375 closure Restricted Area within South-Central El Paso

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