Architects Deploy Traffic Barrels to Make U.S.-Mexico Connection

Next City - At Texas Tech University College of Architecture at El Paso, professors Ersela Kripa and Stephen Mueller can see the border from their window. For the recently relocated architects, principals at the firm Agency, the view into Mexico’s Ciudad Juarez is new scenery. But for many of their students, it’s the big obstacle to their daily commute.

"I've been in this situation since I was in seventh grade. I've walked the bridge daily during terrible weather and air conditions. I have stood in the two-hour lines just to get to school," says student Cynthia Escalante of the Paso del Norte International Bridge, which connects the downtowns of these twin cities along the Rio Grande.

That sense of frustration is a typical story, and part of what inspired Kripa and Mueller to accept an unexpected offer to teach at Texas Tech. Two years ago, the duo stopped by on a research trip for their forthcoming book on security and the militarized built environment.

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