Stantec selected to lead planning for Proposed El Paso Downtown Deck Plaza
Proposed Cap over IH-10 would reconnect communities, add public space, and spark economic development
Stantec, a global leader in sustainable design and engineering, has been selected by the City of El Paso to lead planning, visioning, and schematic design for a proposed deck plaza over the IH-10, which runs through the heart of El Paso. The deck plaza would reconnect neighborhoods that have been divided since the construction of the highway and create a public space with regional amenities that meet the needs of the community. The proposed deck plaza will consist of a cap over the roadway approximately 2,300 feet in length, over the entire length of IH-10 through downtown. In addition to planning and visioning work, Stantec’s team will provide landscape architecture, civil engineering, and structural feasibility assessments, as well as market and economic feasibility assessment in collaboration with HR&A Partners, all in coordination with community stakeholders and the Texas Department of Transportation.
“El Paso’s proposed Downtown Deck Plaza project would have a profound impact on the community’s relationship with the city’s downtown,” said Peer Chacko, Principal and Texas planning and urban design lead at Stantec. “This transformation—thoughtfully planning new public space—can be the spark that triggers wider economic development for the region. Reclaiming public space from downtown highways has been a growing trend in the US, and we’ve done it successfully in other cities.”
Stantec’s multidisciplinary team will bring to bear urban planning, design, landscape architecture, and multiple types of engineering: civil, structural, geotechnical, tunneling, lighting, and environmental. Deliverables will include a market study, conceptual design and development scenario evaluation, economic impact assessment, environmental documentation, funding strategy and action plan, and a five-year pro forma. A Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant will provide a major source of funding for the project.
”The City of El Paso will work closely with the Downtown Deck Plaza Foundation, an early advocate for a deck plaza over IH-10 in downtown, to engage stakeholders and the broader community in the planning and design of this transformative project,” said Yvette Hernandez, City Engineer for the City of El Paso. “Working with our consultant team, we aspire to develop a deck plaza concept that is both visionary and economically viable.”
El Paso’s plan to reclaim part of its downtown dedicated to large-scale transportation infrastructure reflects a national trend. Cities across the United States are seeking ways to reconnect communities that have been bisected by urban highways. The Rochester Inner Loop—led by Stantec—is an early success story in that movement. Stantec was also part of the team that worked to cap 2.25 miles of railroad tracks in Downtown Reno, as well as leading conceptual design for the subsequent beautification project.
Stantec’s planning and transportation groups have been doing extensive work in the region. The firm is currently leading the Downtown Uptown Plan for El Paso which is nearing conclusion and provides ample context for the Deck Plaza project. Stantec has also recently completed the Central El Paso Areawide Planning & Revitalization Strategies for the El Paso Downtown Management District, focused on site-specific brownfield redevelopment opportunities. Stantec is also design lead on the Loop 375 Border Highway West Extension Project, a highway designed to provide better connectivity around the City of El Paso, lessen congestion, and make the roadway safer for commuters.
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