Commissioners discuss bridge

TV Hagenah

Quay County Commissioners say they and their constituents are upset about just how long it is taking the State of New Mexico to respond to the barricaded bridge on old Route 66 over Revuelto Creek between San Jon and Tucumcari.

At the Jan 12 Quay County Commission meeting held at the county courthouse, all three county commissioners and a number of other individuals in attendance at the meeting expressed their displeasure at the problems and the interruption the barricaded bridge has posed for county residents.

“I’ve had quite a few people contact me about this,” said commissioner Jeff Lewalling. “They keep asking when will it be fixed. Their getting upset, and I must say they have a right to be.”

The bridge was deemed “unfit for vehicular traffic” in mid-july of 2003 and the barricades went up. According to residents who used to regularly use the section of the “Mother Road,” apparently nothing has been done to the bridge to improve it.

County Commissioner Franklin McCasland said someone from the state should step up and do something about it, because for a number of county residents it is an important roadway.

“It adds quite a few miles on to a number of different people’s trips to town,” said McCasland.

McCasland said that rather than a trip of 15 miles or so to Tucumcari along the old highway, some residents have to drive nine miles or so east to San Jon then get on Interstate-40 then drive back west to Tucumcari running parallel to the road they were just going east on. When they return they must take the same trip in reverse adding roughly 36 miles on to their journey that they otherwise would not have to drive.

Warren Frost, who was attending the commissioner’s meeting for another matter, said he has a relative who took the old road from San Jon because, “She doesn’t like driving on the Interstate. Now she just doesn’t come to Tucumcari.”

Commissioner Grace Madrid said she too had heard complaints about the lack of any movement being made regarding improvements on the bridge. For that reason she suggested that when the commissioners and county officials travel to Santa Fe next week they make it a priority to contact state officials who might be able to address the situation regarding the closed bridge.

“It will be a very good opportunity to deal with this,” said Madrid.