"This meeting was to let the public know about the region's priorities that have emerged up to now in the master plan process, and to provide comments or make suggestions before the plan is final," TxDOT spokeswoman Blanca Del Valle said Thursday
The region's combined projects would cost billions of dollars if they could be all be funded today. Practically, since that will not happen, regional leaders have to decide which ones are needed the most and can be paid for from public or private sources or a combination of both.
Members of the study team that worked on the plan included representatives from the Center for Transportation, the Texas Transportation Institute and UTEP.
Prozzi said the plan seeks to address topics such as traffic congestion, improved access to border crossings, improved mobility for vehicles and pedestrians, and transportation impacts on communities.
Eduardo Hagert, TxDOT's project manager for the border master plan, said the region's plan incorporates the efforts of the Federal Highway Administration and the U.S. State Department, as well as Mexico's Foreign Ministry and Mexico's Secretary of Communications and Transportation.
While some of the Mexican transportation projects are controlled by city and state governments, others require the federal government's approval and money.
For example, officials in the state of Chihuahua won't know when Mexico will begin work on the Mexican side of the Tornillo-Guadalupe International Bridge until Mexico's new president, Enrique Pena Nieto, sets his priorities and assigns a team to work on the bridge project. Work on the U.S. side of the bridge continues.
The public may continue to provide comments and views on the plan at www.texasbmps.com, or by email at border-master-plan@austin. utexas.edu.
Diana Washington Valdez may be reached at email@example.com; 546-6140.
The Texas Department of Transportation provided the names of voting and non-voting members who helped to share the draft transportation border master plan. This is the list of the people who helped to develop the priority ranking system for transportation projects in the region:
U.S. voting members Department of State, Rachel Poynter Federal Highway Administration, Sylvia Grijalva Texas Department of Transportation, El Paso District 24 El Paso County, County Judge Veronica Escobar City of El Paso, Mayor John Cook General Services Administration, Jim King Customs & Border Protection, Mikhail A. Pavlov New Mexico Department of Transportation, Homer Bernal El Paso state delegation, Senator Jose R. Rodriguez International Boundary & Water Commission (U.S.), Gabriel Duran
U.S. non-voting members Trucking industry, Miguel Perez & Hector Mendoza Maquiladora industry, Kathy Neal Customs brokers, Rosie Lara Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad, Nathan Asplund Union Pacific Railroad, Ivan Jaime New Mexico Border Authority, Marco Herrera U.S. Consulate, Peter Sloan Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce, Jack Chapman Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Cindy Ramos-Davidson Dona Ana County, Commissioner Dolores Saldana-Caviness Congress, former U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes City of El Paso public member, Patrick Terrence Abeln County of El Paso public member, Stephanie Caviness Presidio County, Judge Paul Hunt
Mexico voting members Foreign Ministry, Sean Carlos Cazares Ahearne Federal Communications & Transportation, Juan Jose Erazo Garcia Cano State of Chihuahua Communications & Public Works, Javier Alfonso Garfio Pacheco City of Juarez, Vicente Lopez Urueta INDAABIN (Mexican federal property administration), Luis Enrique Mendez Ramirez Federal Customs, Carlos Morales Tayavas INM (National Migration Institute), Ana Licenko Saval Chihuahua Industry Promotion: Sergio Jurado Medina
Mexico non-voting members Trucking industry, Manuel Sotelo Maquiladora industry, Armendariz & Guillermo Gutierrez Customs brokers, oscar Chavez Arvizo Ferromex Railroad, Manuel Juarez Federal Highway & Bridges, Hector Carrasco Mexican Consulate, Consul Roberto Rodriguez Hernandez IMIP (Juarez City Planning & Research Institute), Alberto Nicolas Lopez Promofront (Zaragoza bridge concessionaire), Antonio Casillas & Virginia Dorantes CILA (Mexico side of IBWC), Armando Reyes
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