The Oligarchs of El Paso are very excited about the controversial $750,000,000 project to expand the width of Interstate 10 through downtown El Paso. They imagine the construction of a “Deck Plaza” atop six blocks of the freeway and new frontage roads on either side.

It is unclear why the Oligarchs want this project so badly. Some have opined that there could be a soccer stadium in the works. Others whisper about new retail developments along the freeway corridor.

The Paso del Norte Community Foundation even established its own Downtown Deck Plaza Foundation to support the project.

On November 16, 2021, the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded the City of El Paso $900,000 for a design study as part of the Rebuilding America Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) program. Pete Buttigieg, U.S. Secretary of Transportation, intends for the program to address “racial inequities in highway design.”

But how would the Deck Plaza, which is obviously an amenity and not a necessity, be paid for?

TxDOT has affirmed that the State will not provide any funding.

Martha Pskowski of the El Paso Times reported it would “require its own funding from private sources, donations and the City of El Paso.”

Tracy Yellen, CEO of the Paso del Norte Community Foundation, recently told Elida S. Perez of El Paso Matters all the reasons she feels the Deck Plaza is a fantastic idea, yet admits that funding will be a challenge and suggests public/private partnerships as a solution.

In other words, the taxpayers would be expected to pick up part of the tab for a project that would cost hundreds of millions of dollars, and that would increase our property tax.

Unless the private sector wants to pay for this boondoggle, we say HELL NO!