Road Troubles

In El Paso it would appear that all roads lead to… well, the roads. Rep. Romero had a (brief) recall started against him because of, among other things, roads: “allegedly skirting the process to get streets paved in his district.” (http://www.elpasotimes.com/…/recall-sought-agains…/74286416/). El Paso missed out on nearly $40 million of accelerated funding “because the city submitted applications that contained errors, failed to include environmental reviews or were submitted under the wrong categories.” (http://www.elpasotimes.com/…/missed-mpo-funding-o…/71970886/). And then there is this: earlier this year a new turn lane was put on Mesa Street to help the flow of traffic. However, a few months after it was finished, TXDOT deemed the lane unsafe because it TILTS AT A 30 DEGREE ANGLE. So, now the lane that was paid for by our tax dollars and was supposed to make life easier is actually slowing down traffic. “Bartlett said the city has brought in an outside contractor, HNTB, to review the issue and come up with a solution. In the meantime, the lane will remain closed with no construction timeline and no indication as to how much the road work will cost.” (http://www.kfoxtv.com/…/City-answers-uncomfortable-question…). But, not to fear because TXDOT will reimburse the city for the expenses. This implies that the El Paso tax payers will only need to pay for the road once. However, an audit done in August of this year had this to say about reimbursements from TXDOT: “There appears to be poor leadership tone from Capital Improvement Department Management,” according to the report. “There was no sense of urgency regarding the lack of reimbursement requests and communicating these issues to the city manager’s office. The lack of communication exists within the department and with external parties such as TxDOT representatives. The city engineer did not ensure that documented policies and procedures existed for TxDOT funded projects.” (http://www.elpasotimes.com/…/city-audit-finds-pro…/71969366/). So, it boils down to this: the road was poorly constructed, no one knows when it will be corrected, TXDOT will reimburse El Paso for the added expense but, given how well our departments have done at collecting reimbursements, who knows when or if that will happen. Kiss your money goodbye (again)!

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