Home News Local News Year-round street projects in the works

Year-round street projects in the works

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Crews with Dustrol Inc., Pueblo, Colorado, work on a hot asphalt recycling project on West Poe Street in March. More pavement rehabilitation projects like this one could be seen more often in Roswell if the city council approves the fiscal year 2022 budget that recommends $13 million for the road fund. (Juno Ogle Photo)

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Roswell can expect to see more road projects if the Roswell City Council passes the proposed fiscal year 2022 budget, a city official said Thursday.

“If council passes the streets that are recommended, folks, you’re going to see projects year-round,” City Engineer Louis Najar said during the city’s fourth virtual public forum Thursday afternoon.

The forum was livestreamed on the city’s Facebook page and can be viewed there or on the city’s YouTube channel.

The first half-hour of the forum was a pre-recorded segment with Najar, City Manager Joe Neeb and Juan Fuentes, administrative services director, discussing street maintenance and financing. A short, live question-and-answer segment with Najar and Fuentes followed.

In the discussion segment, the city officials also discussed what factors contribute to deteriorating road conditions and how the city determines which road improvement projects to pursue.

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The proposed budget for fiscal year 2022, which the city council addressed during a special meeting Thursday evening, recommends $13 million for the road fund. About $4 million of that would be operational expenses such as personnel and daily costs, Fuentes said.

“I think this is the best we have done for a number of years for money that has been allocated,” Neeb said.

Neeb and Najar noted that a survey of city roads in 2019 recommended that, in order to fund all backlogged road projects, the city would have to allocate $16 million, but Neeb commended the staff on what they have been able to do with the funds they have been allocated and able to find through other sources.

That includes cooperative funding with the New Mexico Department of Transportation, which typically splits the funding evenly between the city and NMDOT. The city has applied for co-op funding this year for College Boulevard from Main Street to Atkinson Avenue. The $400,000 project would apply Nova Chip, the same surface as was recently applied on North Main Street.

The Department of Transportation has also recently issued a call for projects. Najar said cities can submit as many projects as they want, but they must be “shovel-ready,” meaning they can be advertised for bid within 30 days. Last year’s installation of new traffic signals at Country Club Road and Main Street was such a project.

“We’re very fortunate that we have an engineering department, we have a staff, so we have four projects that are shovel-ready,” Najar said.

The projects the city will be submitting this year are phase three of Atkinson from Cherry Street to College Boulevard, widening East Hobson Road from Earl Cummings Loop to U.S. Highway 285, continuing Nova Chip on Main Street from McGaffey Road to College Boulevard, and milling pavement on West McGaffey from Wyoming Avenue to Union Avenue.

The latter was one of the top five projects the city submitted to the Legislature for capital funding, but it was not awarded. The state did award $889,000 to replace a second bridge on North Garden Avenue. The city will pay $111,111. A start date for that project has not yet been announced.

The next virtual forum will be on June 17 and will be an open forum centered on Ward 3.

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

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