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County Engineer Eric Martinez Briefs Council On Projects

first_imgCounty Engineer Eric MartinezBy KIRSTEN LASKEYLos Alamos Daily [email protected] construction projects are moving ahead at full speed throughout Los Alamos County. During the regular County Council meeting Oct. 6, County Engineer Eric Martinez provided an update on current projects as well as future roadwork plans.Martinez highlighted numerous projects that are underway throughout the County.These include the 2020 pavement condition survey. Martinez said that a van traveling throughout White Rock and Los Alamos is using special equipment to assess the condition of the County’s roads. He explained once the data is collected it will be complied into a report, which will be utilized when the next fiscal year’s budget is developed. The surveying work is expected to be completed in November and the report is scheduled to be finalized in February 2021.Additionally, Martinez reported on the Barranca Mesa 3 Subdivision project. This project, he said, involves removing and replacing the surface asphalt as well as the base material on Camino Encantado and on various side streets. Replacement of sidewalks, curbs and gutters is included in the work as well as improving ADA accessibility.One significant part of this project, Martinez said, is that the existing road material is being recycled. He explained the original pavement is processed and compacted for the new base material and then new asphalt is placed on top.“This is a really good way to recycle existing material and it also helps us save considerably on cost,” he said.The project started in August and is expected to be completed in November.Martinez also touched on the pedestrian and ADA improvements along the stretch of Trinity Drive that begins at Diamond and ends at Oppenheimer Drive. The work involves making isolated improvements to the sidewalks, curbs, gutters, drive pads and ADA ramps. Additionally, he said Council approved improving the sidewalk buffer area, adjusting utility valve covers and improving bicycle safety while offering a smoother driving surface.“It’s improving the area considerably,” Martinez said.This project also started in August and is expected to wrap up in November.Martinez touched on probably the most notable road project in town, the New Mexico Department of Transportation’s (NMDOT) NM 502 reconstruction project and roundabout.In his presentation, Martinez said the repaving from Knecht Street to DP Road is completed. Ongoing work includes concrete curb, gutter, drive pads and sidewalks near the roundabout and the south side of NM 502 between Canyon Road and Tewa Loop.He further reported that access in and out of Canyon Road at NM 502 is scheduled to be closed and work is being done on the westbound lane to the roundabout. The project is expected to be substantially complete late November/early December, and fully completed by February 2021, pending winter weather.Another NMDOT-lead project is a NM 4 corridor study from the NM 502 interchange to Rover Boulevard, he said.  NMDOT is currently in the process of procuring professional services for the study which includes public involvement.The Department of Energy (DOE) also has several potential road projects, Martinez said. These include improving the intersection at NM 4 and East Jemez Road and replacing Omega Bridge. However, Martinez said replacing Omega Bridge seems to be something DOE will consider in the future.There are several County-lead projects also in the works:The Canyon Rim Trail Underpass, which is going out for bid this month;The wayfinding sign installation, which is scheduled to go for bid this month;The Finch Street connection between 35th Street and the Los Alamos Medical Center, which is under design;The Urban Trail, a multi-use trail from Trinity Drive to the Aquatic Center, which is under design;Phase two of the DP Road improvement project, which includes road and utility improvements. This project is about to go into the design phase;Safety and ADA improvements along Trinity Drive from Oppenheimer to Knecht Street; which is waiting for funds to be secured through a funding agreement from NMDOT in order to procure design services;Roadway and drainage improvements on Sherwood Boulevard from Grand Canyon to Aztec; which is in the design phase;North Mesa Road improvements, which is in design;Deacon Street improvements, which is pending the results of the Los Alamos Downtown master plan before going into design; and33rd Street and 34th Street Loop and joint roadway and utility project. The Department of Public and Utilities and the Public Works are working to address the water main problems on this stretch of road and Public Works is addressing pavement rehabilitation, Martinez said. The project is pending a more formal presentation to Council for budgetary consideration.In addition to its own projects, Martinez said his department serves on the Inter-departmental review committee, which addresses development projects that come into Community Development Department for review and permitProjects underway:The Mirador residential subdivision and the Mirador mixed-use development,The Marriott TownePlace Suites and Convention Center,The Hill Apartments,The Canyon Walk Apartments,The Bluffs senior housing,Ponderosa Estates Phase 3,Natural Grocers andArkansas Place, a residential development on the former Black Hole site.All projects – present and future – help support the council’s goals that address transportation, Martinez said. Specifically, he identified the goals to expand transportation and mobility options as well as address parking challenges and the goal to invest in infrastructure.To achieve these goals, Martinez said his department has numerous plans in place. These plans include the comprehensive plan, the bicycle transportation plan, the pedestrian transportation plan, the pavement management plan as well as the two downtown master plans that are being developed for Los Alamos and White Rock.Regarding the master plans, Martinez said, “We’re anxious to get the findings and look to see what those plans produce in so far as how it addresses and effects transportation.”Council Chair Sara Scott thanked Martinez and his team for their work.“Investing in infrastructure is important to the community and therefore it is one of council’s strategic priorities and it is just great to hear about the continued focus and real progress made even in the context of the pandemic,” she said. “I really appreciate the hard work of you and your team.”last_img read more