Home News Local News Closed section of McGaffey may open soon

Closed section of McGaffey may open soon

City Engineer Louis Najar, left, answers Mayor Dennis Kintigh’s question about the pipe near the West McGaffey Street and South Union Avenue closure at the Infrastructure Committee meeting on Monday afternoon. (Alison Penn Photo)

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The bulk of the one-hour Infrastructure Committee meeting on Monday afternoon was dedicated to non-action items, such as water line project updates, potential annexations and other infrastructure projects. Councilors Juan Oropesa, Caleb Grant, Jeanine Corn Best and George Peterson were present to discuss items, vote and ask questions.

The council voted in favor of a few action items, including an award for railroad crossing work and an award for professional services related to the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan, which followed a request for proposals process.

Water projects

City Engineer Louis Najar said a road closure on West McGaffey Street and South Union Avenue will “hopefully” be ending soon. The closure took place after a waterline broke on Nov. 6. A line stop was installed last week and Najar said the road will be paved late this week before possibly reopening.

Najar said the pipe, built in 1978, had steel fillings. Gesturing to Ryan Porter, assistant city engineer, Najar said waterlines would have to be replaced in 20 years or sooner.

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Originally, the tentative opening date for McGaffey was Jan. 21. Najar said the pipe at McGaffey was different from others and caused the city “some problems and headaches” that have been overcome.

Mayor Dennis Kintigh asked Najar if the McGaffey line was “thin metal with shallow concrete coating” internally and externally. Najar confirmed this and added the concrete grout is “deforming” with the pressure. Kintigh said it would be a “serious discussion” for the city council to consider replacing the city’s major waterlines.

“We need to do some serious strategic planning,” Kintigh said about the water infrastructure. “At what point does it not make sense to do this, versus doing this and replacing the 36-inch line?”

Najar said a mile of line from Washington Avenue to Sunset Avenue was similar to this cylinder and that was “scary.” He explained that replacing a 48-inch line has, in the past, cost $1,000 per foot and it would be “a big price tag” with installing roadway, curb and gutter.

“Well, all these lines that we’re fixing, we have to put them in the queue for complete replacement,” Najar said. “We’re just buying time.”

Referencing other projects, Najar said the city advertised bids for the Edgewood large water line project on Jan. 20. The project to replace a 36-inch diameter valve and four miles of water lines is named after the closed Edgewood Elementary School on 701 N. Garden Ave.

He said bids will be opened on Feb. 12 for work on the large water lines at East Third Street, East Cherry Street and North Garden Avenue — work that was postponed to fund replacement of asbestos-concrete (transite) waterline on East Second Street/U.S. Highway 380, providing water for The Roswell Test Facility and Bottomless Lakes State Park.

For work related to the asbestos-concrete water line, Najar said the city will be advertising bids to replace the waterline on Feb. 10, and that project could potentially conclude at the end of summer.

In regard to a 42-inch line at South Sunset Avenue, near Lions-Hondo Little League at Randy Willis Ball Field in the 2100 block of South Sunset Avenue, Najar said the water department is ordering parts and will be completing the work internally.


Two annexations, one for a proposed “certified site” at West Brasher Road and South Sunset Avenue — involving parcels known collectively by the city as the Southwest Properties — and land used for drainage between Mescalero and Country Club roads along the BNSF railroad line, were also discussed. Some of the councilors asked if the city would contact other property owners in the surrounding area of the Southwest Properties about including them in the potential annexation.

Najar introduced Jim Mitchell of JHTC Investments LLC, whose company owns two parcels in the Southwest Properties. Najar said that Mitchell is a contractor with a history of working with the city, from putting in a new cell at the landfill to installing the water line to Berrendo Elementary School. Najar explained that Mitchell has land across from the landfill leased to his company for a concrete plant.

Najar said he was “excited” to have competition in the concrete business in Roswell and to “have a contractor and developer that wants to invest into the city of Roswell.”

Bill Morris, the city’s community development director, said the city hasn’t done an annexation since 2006. Morris said Mitchell’s application will be seen by the Infrastructure Committee, Planning and Zoning Commission and two public hearings will be held in the presence of the city council for expansion of the city boundary.

City/RISD reporter Alison Penn can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or at reporter04@rdrnews.com.

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