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Loop 375 Woodrow Bean Trans Mountain Highway

Created and last updated July 15, 2001

Also see: Trans-Mountain historic information | Loop 375 Border Highway | Loop 375 Northeast

The Trans-Mountain section of Loop 375 is certainly the most impressive driving experience in the El Paso area. This section of roadway was opened on August 5, 1969, and is for the most part still in its as-constructed condition. The existing roadway includes a 2-lane section near Interstate 10 west; this 2-lane section will be upgraded to a 4-lane highway. However, there are presently no plans to upgrade this section to a controlled access freeway. Since most of the land along this corridor is parkland or military reservation, there will not be any development along this corridor, so full access control really is not needed.

A December 1969 Texas Highways Magazine article (400K) gives all the details on the construction of this section of highway. The project is described as the "largest excavation project ever undertaken by the Highway Department". I'm sure that distinction still stands today.

El Paso Loop 375 Border Freeway Location

Photos start at US 54 and proceed westward

375 trans-mountain
(high resolution 271k)
A. Looking west from the US 54 overpass. Photo taken 31-May-2001.

375 trans-mountain
(high resolution 264k) B. Just west of US 54. Photo taken 31-May-2001.

375 trans-mountain
(high resolution 194k)
C. Driver's view on the upgrade leading to the mountain pass. Photo taken 31-May-2001.

375 trans-mountain
(high resolution 363k)
D. Photo taken 31-May-2001.

375 trans-mountain
(high resolution 242k)
E. Proceeding through the first major rock cut. Photo taken 31-May-2001.

375 trans-mountain
(high resolution 238k)
F. Photo taken 31-May-2001.

375 trans-mountain
(high resolution 311k)
G. Another rock cut. This is where the highway exits the military reservation and enters the Franklin Mountains State Park. Photo taken 31-May-2001.

375 trans-mountain
(high resolution 311k)
H. Driver's view of the highest point of the Trans-Mountain road - Smuggler's Gap, which is 5280 feet high. Photo taken 31-May-2001.

375 trans-mountain
(high resolution 150k)
J. View of the downgrade on the west side of the mountain pass. Photo taken 31-May-2001.

375 trans-mountain
(high resolution 162k) K. Near Interstate 10, Loop 375 has a 2-lane section. It will be upgraded to a divided highway within the next few years. Photo taken 31-May-2001.

 
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