In 1969, work was underway to extend the federal Interstate 10 (I-10) through El Paso to link the cross-country, east-west highway from Jackson, Florida to Santa Monica, California. The project disrupted the heart of Downtown El Paso - and the fabric of El Paso's urban core - with a sunken freeway.

With the Texas Department of Transportation's plans to reconstruct I-10 from Executive Center to Copia after fifty years, El Paso has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to build a Deck Plaza over I-10 in the downtown corridor.

With matching funds from the Downtown Deck Plaza Foundation, the City of El Paso received a $900,000 FY21 RAISE grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to conduct a Feasibility Study for the project.

The transformational project is designed to reconnect neighborhoods historically separated by I-10 to enhance livability, provide economic opportunity, add green space, hike/bike trails and other recreational amenities, and celebrate the region's rich heritage and culture. It also supports the City of El Paso's Downtown + Update & Surrounding Neighborhoods Master Plan approved in July 2023.

Project Goals

With input from the community through a series of community meetings held in February-April 2023, the goals of the project are to create:

  • Authentic Cultural Crossroads:
    • Gathering Space, Symbolism, Heritage, Contemporary Culture, Common Ground, Connecting Neighborhoods
  • Inviting Sense of Place
    • Active Edges, Amenity and Programming Variety, Shade, Green Space, Native Trees/Plants, Vendor Spaces, Food Trucks, Performance Spaces, Safety, Noise Mitigation
  • Enhanced Accessibility/Connectivity
    • Street Grid, Walkability, ADA Access, Bike-ability, Transit Access, Vehicular Access, Parking
  • Inclusive Economic Development
    • Local Business, Local Institutions, Added Affordable Housing, Minimize Displacement
  • Sustainability/Climate Action
    • Native Planting, Water Conservation, Heat Island Reduction, Energy Conservation, Improved Air Quality
  • Implementation Feasibility
    • Constructability, Infrastructure, Compatibility, TxDOT Alignment, Traffic Capacity Thresholds, Cost, Phasing, Value Capture

Downtown Deck Plaza Foundation

The Board of Directors of the Paso del Norte Community Foundation established the Downtown Deck Plaza Foundation under its umbrella to work with public and private partners to achieve the vision for the Deck Plaza.