The Rescue Mission of El Paso is preparing to move locations to make room for progress.
The shelter has been serving the homeless of the community at its current Paisano Drive location since the mid-1980s. A TxDOT representative visited shelter CEO Blake Barrow Monday to inform him relocating was necessary for Spur 1966 to be completed.
"TxDOT is going to be paying us for this property and our job now is to get as much as we can for it," Barrow said.
Spur 1966 will connect Schuster Avenue at the University of Texas at El Paso to Paisano Drive via a bridge over I-10. The project will alleviate traffic but move the shelter's operations.
"Let's find another piece of real estate and let's build a bigger and better rescue mission," Barrow said about having to move.
TxDOT spokeswoman Veronica Beyer said, "We appreciate Mr. Barrow's commitment to helping El Paso's most vulnerable citizens and look forward to working with him to find another well-suited and safer location for his important mission."
So far the project is on target to be completed by spring 2015. The next 12 weekends the Schuster I-10 eastbound ramp will be closed. Yandell bridge is set to be demolished this summer and workers are already drilling foundations for the bridge columns.
"Yes, there really is a demand for another thoroughfare here," Barrow said about the current construction in the area. What makes moving difficult is the fact that the current shelter is undergoing remodeling. Barrow said monetary contributions and work from volunteers have done is not going to waste.
"Your efforts increased the value of that building say wholesale where as TxDOT is going to come buy it retail. So the value that you put into it has multiplied and now you're going to help us build a bigger and better rescue mission," Barrow said.
The mission staff has already been searching for a new location but no details were provided about where the shelter might move.