City street consruction projects may soon be managed by the Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority, and not the City of El Paso.
El Paso City Council on Tuesday voted to explore the option of the RMA managing its street capital improvement plan, which includes all street construction projects in the works.
"If we can find a partner or an entity that can move projects faster, why shouldn't we explore that opportunity?" said Deputy City Manager for Transportation, Jane Shang.
City officials said it sometimes takes too long for the city to complete street construction. "I mean one road we've been talking about it for four years now," City Rep. Emma Acosta told the rest of council on Tuesday.
The Camino Real RMA is an extension of the state that focuses solely on transportation. They can cross jurisdictional boundaries and can procure contracts and oversee any street project.
It's really that singular focus on mobility and transportation projects that the RMA really brings to the table," the RMA's Executive Director, Raymond Telles said on Wednesday.
Telles said the RMA does not want to give the impression they can build faster and better than the city, though Acosta said the agency has a good track record. "Obviously they've shown they can come in within budget - sometimes under budget. Which is what they did with the connectors on the loop and a lot faster." The RMA oversaw the connectors on Loop 375 and stayed $2 million under budget.
Council also voted to explore the RMA managing the international bridges for the city, instead of the bridges being handled by a city department.
The city is currently studying ways it can charge a fee at the Bridge of the Americas, something the RMA has the authority to do at a nearby state inspection site.
It's preliminary but Telles said if the RMA manages the bridges, drivers could eventually have an account with the RMA and use it to pay the fee at the bridge, El Paso toll roads and possibly parking garages and meters throughout the city through a transponder in their vehicles.//