News

Paso del Norte Trail Receives RAISE Funding Award from U.S. DOT

August 22, 2022

The Paso del Norte Health Foundation and the Paso del Norte Community Foundation in partnership with members of the El Paso Mobility Coalition, which include representation from the City of El Paso, County of El Paso, El Paso Chamber, El Paso Metropolitan Planning Organization, Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority, Texas Department of Transportation, and others, are excited to announce funding awarded from the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT)’s Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) Program for the Paso del Norte Trail.

Local funding includes:

  • $7.89 million to the Texas Department of Transportation for the Paso del Norte Trail, as part of a large $25 million grant award to TxDOT for hike/bike trails across Texas. The funds will be used for the design and construction of 5.6 miles of the Paso del Norte Trail from Ysleta to Socorro, which supports the 68-mile planned Paso del Norte trail.
  • $12 million to the City of El Paso for improvements to the Ysleta Port of Entry. The funds will be used for pedestrian improvements and to modernize the port’s infrastructure.

The RAISE announcement shines a light on the Paso del Norte Trail, adding additional miles to the 68-mile planned hike/bike amenity.

“We are so grateful to the U.S. DOT for this significant investment, which will add another nearly six miles to the Paso del Norte Trail from Ysleta to Socorro,” said Tracy J. Yellen, CEO, Paso del Norte Health Foundation and Paso del Norte Community Foundation. “We look forward to partnering with the Texas Department of Transportation on the project to bring these important recreational and alternative transportation amenities to the Mission Valley - making it easier for the residents of our region to live active lives.”

According to the U.S. DOT, the 2022 RAISE grants were designed for planning and capital investments that support roads, bridges, transit, rail, ports, or intermodal transportation. 50% of funding is designated for projects in rural areas, and 50% of the funding is designated for projects in urban areas. Nearly two-thirds of projects nationwide are located in areas of persistent poverty or historically disadvantaged communities. The largest grant award was $25 million. Per statute, no more than $341.25 million could be awarded to a single state in this round of funding.

The 2022 RAISE grants are among the first of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill program funding to come to the region.

The El Paso Mobility Coalition and its partners are working on more than $500 million in funding application requests to the U.S. DOT for additional infrastructure investments and improvements for the region that include: create a Vision Zero planning document with the goal of identifying and mitigating traffic fatalities; removal of at-grade crossing at Zaragoza and Copia crossings; design and engineering recreational hike/bike trails across El Paso County; support the I-10 expansion to include the Downtown Deck Plaza amenity; street-car connection from Downtown to the Medical Center of the Americas; elimination of the at-grade railroad crossing to improve student safety at Texas Tech Health Sciences Center, along with a few more applications in progress.

“Continued investment in transportation infrastructure is vital to the growth of our regional economy – from the ports of entry to I-10 renovation. We are pleased to see the wide-range of projects in the pipeline that are committed to green infrastructure and pedestrian-scale connectivity. This will ensure that as we work to support efficient transportation for our workforce and businesses, we are also mindful of people and the environment,” said Andrea Hutchins, CEO of the El Paso Chamber, the organizing agency for the El Paso Mobility Coalition.

“We are thrilled that local organizations across El Paso County are pursuing the varied funding opportunities to leverage local resources. The U.S. DOT has opened pathways for investment in outdated infrastructure providing additional tools to address air quality and other issues that come with roadway improvements,” said Texas State Senator Cesar Blanco.

“El Paso has long been the center of transportation and trade in the Southwest. Strategic investments by the U.S. Department of Transportation in our transportation corridors create jobs, address connectivity, improve air quality, and support our regional infrastructure,” said Texas State Representative Lina Ortega.

For more information the Paso del Norte Trail, visit pasodelnortetrail.org.

Playa drain tail crop

PDNHF Initiative: Physical Activity

Regular physical activity is associated with positive health outcomes across the lifespan. In addition to decreasing people’s risk of chronic disease, physical activity improves cognitive function in youth, reduces anxiety and depression, and improves sleep. Despite these benefits, many do not engage in the recommended amount of daily physical activity. The Health Foundation’s stake in physical activity began in the early 2000’s with Walk El Paso. More recently, the Health Foundation constructed the Playa Drain Trail demonstration project and has partnered with regional stakeholders for the development of the Paso del Norte Trail network. Other areas of emphasis include the promotion of physical activity through educational programs, campaigns, and trail and park use.

2021 Paso del Norte Trail Report

Paso del Norte Trail Alignment

View Strategy Brief

Foundation Staff: Jana Renner

Additional Links

https://www.pasodelnortetrail.org/

Physical Activity

Back to News