The newest section of freeway opened in El Paso yesterday, completing Spur 601.
Originally called the Inner Loop Freeway, Spur 601 was renamed the “Liberty Expressway” and it connects “Purple Heart Blvd” with the “Patriot Freeway” with an exit at “Constitution Avenue” for good measure. If this all sounds like the freeway system of a fictional city in the G.I. Joe Universe, it may have something to do with the fact that the road runs through the large army base of Fort Bliss and will be used by a lot of active troops. Recent base closures and realignments have meant that the number of personnel based at Fort Bliss has grown considerably. Construction on the first portion of the route began in 2007. A new method of financing called “pass-through” was used here, and it means the DOT can pay for the construction through semi-annual payments instead of entirely up-front.
El Paso’s next big freeway project will sit along Loop 375 along the Rio Grande River, and consists of adding toll lanes. Bidding for the project started last month. All of El Paso’s future large road projects, like almost all in Texas, are going to be tolled with the exception of those used primarily for the military.