Business owner benefits from train derailment detours and traffic

Thursday, October 24, 2013 - 7:30pm

Driving to work or across town has been a challenge since Friday night, when a Union Pacific train derailed. The train slammed into a concrete pillar that holds up the I-10 Cotton overpass.

"The number one priority for TxDOT is their safety," said Blanca Del Valle, the spokesperson of TxDOT.

So TxDOT shut down a portion of I-10, leaving three left lanes open for drivers, while closing two right lanes.

"We checked everything to make sure that nothing else was damaged," said Del Valle.

The damaged pillar was eventually removed and Union Pacific replaced it with four steel pillars, until repairs begin Saturday.

"TxDOT is paying for the repairs but we will seek reimbursement from the railroad company. They will put new drill shafts. Then they pour the concrete.The concrete has to be a certain temperature before they can completely cure and then they put the deck top or the cap,” said Del Valle.

While TxDOT ensures the project will be complete in 15 days and not a day longer, El Pasoans can count on one thing: heavy traffic and delays.

"Traffic has actually quadrupled.They've actually turned this into a three lane one way instead of a two way shoot,” said Fierce Fit Training gym owner Brandon Hollis.

A huge headache for businesses in the area, but for business Brandon Hollis, it's not so bad.

"It's actually eyes on publicity. It's free advertising for us," said Hollis.

With the closure in place on Missouri, traffic is detoured right in front of Hollis' gym.

"Some people actually come in, get information about the gym and sign up," said Hollis.

He's found the silver lining.

"The number of phone calls I've received in the last week probably has doubled since the train derailment," said Hollis.

Repairs on the I-10 overpass begin on Saturday and will last 15 days.


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