First Street project groundbreaking, work approaches

By Tova Fruchtman: Quay County Sun

On June 1 a two year project on Tucumcari’s First Street will begin.

The main goal of the project: to repair the storm drainage system on the road and prevent flooding, according to Jerry Cannon, the project supervisor for the New Mexico Department of Transportation.

The DOT hired A.S. Horner, a contractor out of Albuquerque, to do the project.

But the community members, area businesses and city officials will be involved in the planning process — as they have been since plans for the project began more than 5 years ago. A small group of community representatives meet each week until the project begins to give input on behalf of the city, community and businesses.

On May 16, a Public Information Meeting will give other community members an opportunity to be updated on the project, give suggestions and even discuss the possibility of working on the project.

Christine Romero, spokesperson for the DOT, said she hopes community members will attend the public information meeting.

“We’d love to hear from the public,” she said.

She also said she wants them to understand the importance of the project to Tucumcari and how much the DOT is investing in the city.

“There will be big improvements to First Street in Tucumcari,” Romero said. “ This is an $11.9 million, two year project.”

She said she hopes the people of Tucumcari will be patient during construction, and consider the end result of the project. But she said that doesn’t mean the DOT or contractor isn’t interested in hearing what people have to say at the May 16 meeting.

“This is a chance for the public to come and voice their opinions,” she said.

Romero also suggested that those interested in getting jobs working on the site attend the meeting.

“We are going to help the local economy by hiring locally,” she said.

Besides the public information meeting, the contractor will be placing half-page advertisements in the newspaper each week about the progress on the project, as part of their contract with the DOT.

First Street plans
The Department of Transportation and the contractor A.S. Horner will hold a Public Information Meeting about the First Street project before it begins:
When: 6 p.m. on May 16
Where: Tucumcari Convention Center
Information: Project Manager Jerry Cannon at 4614619 or e-mail JERRY.CANNON@nmshtd.state.nm.us.