U.S. 70 reconstruction to begin soon

Christina Calloway

The New Mexico Department of Transportation has made a preliminary award of contract to a company out of Carlsbad for the reconstruction of U.S. 70.

The reconstruction will take place from Avenue K to Bryan Street,which will replace the existing asphalt with concrete pavement.

The work is expected to begin in late March or early April and is expected to be completed in the summer of 2013. The project cost is about $8.3 million.

Pat Garcia, NMDOT Portales area construction assistant project manager, said they chose Constructors, Inc. for the project because they were the lowest bidders.

Garcia said that project cost is a little over their budget but they are able to fund their project with leftover unused funds from other projects.

Pavement rehabilitation work consisting of milling and inlaying the existing pavement with new hot mix asphalt will take place from Avenue R to Avenue K, according to an NMDOT press release.

Garcia said construction will also involve ADA rehabilitation and compliance throughout the length of the project.

Other improvements will be made to the project area.

“The lighting through the downtown area will be completely redone, the signals on Main Street will be new and the signals on avenues C and K will be updated,” Garcia said.

There will also be some beautification and landscaping done right by the airplane, according to Garcia.

“With the obvious increase in traffic and truck weights, we’ve had a lot of problems with our existing highway,” Garcia said. “Concrete will help alleviate these issues throughout the city.”

Motorists should expect some lane closures during the project while construction is taking place and are advised to be considerate of construction workers, observe construction signing, and obey the posted speed limit in the construction area, according to the press release.

Garcia said they are working with the city police and the county to get motorists around as smoothly and safely as possible.