March 5 Hearing Set for Montana Intersection Project

Contact: Jennifer Wright

Phone: (915) 790-4340

Date: Feb. 28, 2019

Community members are invited to provide feedback on a new proposed project on the city’s east side during a public hearing Tuesday, March 5, starting at 5 p.m. at the Ross Middle School Cafeteria located at 6101 Hughey Drive.

The Montana Intersection project makes significant improvements at US 62/180 (Montana Avenue), Airport Road, and Mescalero Drive. The $910,000 project would modify the existing intersection geometry to minimize stops for eastbound and westbound through traffic, which would improve safety and traffic flow.

Changes are the result of a recent study of the Montana corridor. According to 2018 volumes, the intersection is currently processing 42,000 vehicles per day – most of this traffic during the a.m. and p.m. peak periods. A conservative linear forecast indicates that this number could reach 58,000 vehicles per day over the next 20 years.

“The 2018 crash rate for Montana Avenue at Airport Road/ Mescalero Drive is more than twice the statewide average crash rate,” said TxDOT El Paso District Engineer Bob Bielek. “Crashes include a high rate of rear-end collisions. This project addresses that concern and will improve safety, for both drivers and pedestrians.”

Specifically, improvements include the reduction of vehicle and pedestrian conflicts from the current 5‐way approach to a proposed 3‐way approach. In addition, with the extension of a raised median on Montana Avenue and the protected pedestrian access to and from Airport Road and Mescalero Drive, pedestrians will be provided ADA compliant crossings, safety islands in between two‐way traffic, and a continuous bike/pedestrian path for the entire intersection.

Improved traffic flow will result from a continuous traffic flow on Montana Avenue, for both eastbound and westbound traffic, and modifying the Mescalero Drive and Airport Road approaches to right‐ins and right‐outs only. The left-turn movements made from Montana Avenue will be governed by signals similar to the existing turn movements today.

The open house portion of the hearing will be held from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., and the formal presentation will begin at 6 p.m. The hearing will be conducted in English, and a Spanish interpreter will be present.

The project is scheduled to go out for bid this summer and start before the end of the year. Construction is expected to be completed by the fall of 2020.


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