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Looking north on Oregon St. with five streetcars visible about 1910 | Photo Courtesy: El Paso Streetcar Page

Rails Return to Streets of El Paso; Installation to Begin near UTEP

Rail will soon begin its return to the streets of the Sun City, as work on the track phase of the El Paso Streetcar Project starts next week.

“Since late last year, crews have mainly focused on underground utility work related to the project,” said Raymond Telles, Executive Director, of the Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority. “However, El Pasoans will soon see crews undertaking the highly-complex, highly-technical work of laying the first massive sections of specialized steel rail which will make up the 4.8 mile route.”

Track work will be primarily focused in zones which are several blocks long. Work in each zone will take several months to complete and typically progresses in the following fashion:

  • Remove all existing pavement where necessary
  • Precisely level the exposed ground by removing existing dirt and rock and replacing it with new material and in some locations installing new curb and sidewalks. (This phase will require three to six weeks to complete)
  • Lay and weld rail segments which average 540 feet in length
  • Pour 12-inch thick concrete slab around rail, requiring two to three weeks to fully set
  • Finalize roadway repairs including final striping

Businesses and residents will maintain access to their property at all times.

The first track work will take place on Oregon Street between Glory Road and University Avenue, where streetcars will run in the southbound transit lane.

To accommodate work, Oregon Street will be reduced to one lane in each direction between Glory Road and University Avenue beginning on Monday, May 16, 2016. University Avenue will be reduced to one lane in each direction at Oregon Street. Robinson Avenue and Cincinnati Avenue will be closed to east-west traffic at Oregon Street. These closures will last through mid-August.

An additional two- to three-week complete closure of Oregon Street near the Glory Road Transfer Center will be required over the summer to allow crews to replace additional concrete paving there.

As crews prepare to begin track work, underground utility work continues at the following locations:

Lane restrictions are now in place at the intersection of Mesa Street and Franklin Avenue. All lanes of the Franklin Avenue/Oregon Street intersection and the Franklin Avenue/Stanton Street intersection have reopened.

Motorists who typically use Mesa Street to enter Downtown are encouraged to consider alternate routes, including Kansas Street which is once again open between Main Drive and San Antonio Avenue

The intersection of Stanton Street and Crosby Avenue is now closed in all directions. Beginning on Wednesday, May 11, 2016, work will move into the intersection of Stanton Street and Schuster Avenue. To accommodate this work, Stanton Street will be closed to thru traffic from Rim Road to Cliff Drive.

Crosby Avenue will be closed to thru traffic from Mesa Street to Kansas Street. Lane restrictions will be in place on Schuster Avenue between Mesa and Kansas.

Beginning during the week of May 16, 2016, Kansas Street will be closed to all traffic between Paisano Drive and Father Rahm Avenue. This closure is necessary to allow crews to continue work on underground utilities and replace curbs and sidewalks.

Santa Fe Street remains reduced to one lane in each direction between San Antonio Avenue and Franklin Avenue. On Friday, May 13, 2016, Santa Fe Street will be reduced to one lane in each direction at the intersection with Father Rahm Avenue. This lane restriction is expected to last fewer than 24 hours. Father Rahm remains closed to east-west traffic.

Father Rahm Avenue remains closed to thru traffic between Santa Fe Street and Kansas Street.

All lanes of Yandell Drive are once again open at Stanton Street. Kansas Street is once again open to traffic between Texas Avenue and San Antonio Avenue.

Crews have installed temporary asphalt patches and will return to both locations to complete rail installation and roadway repairs.

Lane Restrictions at Other Locations

  • Kansas Street between San Antonio Avenue and Father Rahm Avenue
  • Campbell Street at First Avenue
  • San Antonio Avenue between Stanton and Campbell Street
  • Intermittent lane closures on Oregon Street from Yandell Drive to Glory Road
  • Intermittent lane closures on Stanton Street from Yandell Drive to Baltimore Drive
  • Work will is expected take place along Santa Fe Street between Loop 375 and Paisano Drive beginning later this month. This will require overnight complete closures and daytime lane restrictions.
  • Stanton Street will be completely closed between Franklin and Wyoming in the coming weeks.

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  • Call the bilingual project information line: (844) 252-RAIL.

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