Unexpected slowdowns, speeding drivers, stalled vehicles. These are some of the things drivers deal with in addition to construction activities and lane closures on I-10. Lately, you may have noticed an increased police presence patrolling the corridor. El Paso Police are working closely with the GO 10 team, monitoring the corridor daily to address incidents and help keep the flow of traffic safe and steady.
We asked Lieutenant Curtis Hamilton (left) and Sergeant Edwin Mayorga (right), assigned to the Westside Regional Command’s Special Operations/Traffic section: What are they seeing along the corridor and how can drivers keep their commute safe? Here’s what they said.
Collisions were occurring on a daily basis on I-10 East near the Sunland Park exit; but most recently, and to our relief, we have seen the number of crashes decrease significantly. As more drivers become accustomed to the regular closures and slowdowns, the collisions are expected to continue to decrease. This does not mean that drivers should become complacent about safe driving and respecting the speed limit within the construction zone.
The area on I-10 East between Sunland Park Drive and Executive Center Boulevard is sometimes referred to as “the tunnel.” This section is where GO 10 crews have shifted the lanes toward the median. There are no off-ramps and shoulders are limited, effectively creating a tunnel without a roof. Drivers must proceed through this section with caution; any fender bender or any stalled vehicle can cause backups. In any case, PD will be there to clear the scene and help drivers move along.
One thing we have been strictly enforcing is drivers leaving disabled vehicles unattended in the construction zone. Unattended vehicles prevent emergency responders from reaching a collision or hazard by effectively creating a roadblock, especially in the tunnel. Tow trucks will be deployed immediately to remove any and all unattended stationary vehicles in the tunnel. If your vehicle becomes disabled in the GO 10 project construction zone, do not leave the vehicle unattended and make immediate arrangements to have the vehicle towed to a safe location. Arranging the tow on your own allows you to avoid unnecessary impound fees.
People may have also noticed that the speed limit in the tunnel, between Sunland and Executive, has been reduced to 50 mph in both directions. This could change at a later date to include the entire six-mile GO 10 project limits, from Exit 11 to Exit 16. Police are enforcing the 50 mph limit to keep the construction zone safe for motorists as well as for GO 10 workers. Remember, fines double in construction zones when workers are present.
Don’t follow too closely behind other vehicles, put all your devices away, know your blind spots. It is also important to remember – if you're in a fender bender without injuries, and you can safely move your vehicle from the interstate, please do so. It's the law! Finally, we’d like to remind everyone that GO 10 workers are often just a few feet from moving traffic and they are working in 100+ degree weather conditions, so please give them a “brake.” Slow down through work zones and drive courteously.
GO 10 thanks the El Paso PD for serving the community and helping to keep drivers safe in the work zone.