The Texas Department of Transportation plans to temporarily close some access points to Interstate 10 near The University of Texas at El Paso starting Friday, May 5, 2017, as crews begin to erect the much-anticipated “Buried Pick” monuments.
Employees will work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 5 to install the artwork adjacent to UTEP’s S-3 parking lot.
The setup of the other pick along the eastbound lanes across from the S-4 parking lot will be done overnight on Monday, May 8.
In anticipation of the May 5 project, TxDOT will barricade the left two lanes of the Schuster Avenue off-ramp that leads to the University Avenue roundabout. Motorists may use the off-ramp’s right lane to get to campus.
The agency also will block the University Avenue flyover eastbound lanes at the roundabout.
On May 8, there will be a complete closure of the eastbound I-10 lanes from Executive Center Drive through the Downtown exit from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. the next morning.
The two pickaxe art pieces will be set on steel and concrete bases. The pick handles will be set at a 75-degree angle. They will be about 40 feet tall, 25 feet long and 12 feet wide.
The letters U-T-E-P will be 3-1/2 feet tall and set in both sides of the axe handle. The letters will be backlit with LEDs.
Additional closures will be needed starting May 15 as crews begin to place native stone
boulders around the new pick adjacent to the S-3 lot.
This work will last eight to 10 working days and the roads will be barricaded the same as the installation. The barricades will be removed at the end of each work day.
Motorists who use the westbound I-10 Schuster exit also should know that there will be some road work on Sun Bowl Drive between Schuster and University.
Northbound traffic on Sun Bowl will be limited to one lane for a sewer line enhancement that is part of the Interdisciplinary Research Building project.
University and TxDOT officials ask motorists to slow down and exercise caution in the construction zone.