The El Paso Downtown I-10 project is the highest priority emerging from the Reimagine I-10 Corridor study. This study, completed in 2019, identified highway improvements that will stretch over a 55-mile route, spanning from the border of Texas and New Mexico to Tornillo. The first part of the project will be the downtown segment.
The proposed Downtown I-10 downtown segment extends from Executive Center Boulevard to Loop 478 (Copia Street). Improvements include reconstruction of the main lanes, retaining walls, bridges, ramps, and cross streets.
While the goal of this project is to provide long-term transportation solutions for the El Paso region, ultimately many residents and businesses are going to be forced to sell their property to make way for the new corridor. The State, acting through the Texas Department of Transportation, is expected to use its power of eminent domain to assist in acquiring the property necessary for the El Paso Downtown I-10 project.
El Paso Is Key Hub on I-10 Corridor
El Paso is a growing metropolitan region in the westernmost part of Texas located along the Rio Grande and bordering Mexico. The city is the sixth most populated city in Texas and the seventeenth largest in the United States with just over 683,000 people.
The El Paso corridor of I-10 plays an important role in many sectors of the local economy, including the transportation, logistics, retail, manufacturing, military and energy industries. This region also houses one of the biggest land ports of entry along the U.S./Mexico border with over 25 percent of all northbound commercial truck crossings into Texas from Mexico occurring in this region.
El Paso I-10 Eminent Domain: Who Is Affected?
The El Paso Downtown 10 segment, from Executive Center Boulevard to Loop 478, is currently in the design and analysis phase, and the State is seeking federal environmental approval by submitting an Environmental Impact Statement or EIS. Residents and business in the following zip codes may be affected by eminent domain related to the Reimagine I-10 project:
What Is Eminent Domain and How Does It Work?
Eminent domain is the right of a government or its agent (in this case, TxDOT) to take private property for public use. However, the United States and Texas Constitutions guarantee that private property cannot be taken for public use without the property owner receiving just compensation.
Under applicable laws and regulations, TxDOT is unable to take any land unless it has negotiated with the landowner and agreed on a purchase price or received an order from a special commissioners panel appointed by the court that establishes the amount of compensation due to an owner.
Early in the condemnation process, you may be contacted by a surveyor hired by TxDOT to prepare a formal legal description of the property that they will seek to acquire. You will then be contacted by an appraiser hired by TxDOT to estimate the value of the land being taken, along with any damages to remaining land. This will form the basis of the amount of compensation that TxDOT will offer. As TxDOT provides these documents to you, it is important to have them reviewed by someone knowledgeable about the condemnation process and property values who can help you understand the impact on you and your property.
What Is the Timeframe for the El Paso Downtown I-10 Project?
The final project route selection is expected to be completed in late 2023 or early 2024, with detailed design and construction targeted immediately thereafter. The downtown portion of the construction is estimated to take four years to complete.
What to Do If You Get a Letter from TxDOT About Taking Land for the Reimagine I-10 Project?
If you receive a letter from TxDOT about your property being in the path of El Paso Downtown 10 project, it does not always mean that you will have to immediately surrender possession of your land.
It is important for anyone who gets this notification related to the El Paso Downtown I-10 project to speak with an experienced Texas eminent domain lawyer without delay. An attorney can help determine whether or not your land may be impacted by the project, and if so, explain what your rights are.
Get Help from Eminent Domain Attorneys Experienced in TxDOT Cases
The Texas eminent domain attorneys at Dawson & Sodd have decades of experience in protecting the rights of property owners. Some of our case results against TxDOT include:
- When TxDOT condemned 28 acres along I-35 in Central Texas, our clients received a net recovery of $3.14 million after TxDOT initially offered $389,323. The case was won for our client in a jury verdict; TxDOT appealed the case but later settled before the appeal verdict.
- Settling a condemnation case for a shopping center in which TxDOT condemned a portion of the property for a roadway. The initial offer from TXDOT was $49,670, which we increased to net recovery to our clients of $807,285.
- Settling a partial taking by TxDOT for a roadway project in which the net recovery to our client was 267% more than the initial offer.
Do not assume the government will offer you a fair price for your property. The only way to ensure that your property is taken fairly and in compliance with Texas law is to have someone on your side who understands the law and has the resources to fight for the full amount of what you are owed.
Contact Dawson & Sodd today to schedule a free consultation and get help protecting your rights as a Texas landowner.