By Kevin Wilson: Quay County Sun
After a long winter break, the First Street road construction project is set to resume in a little more than a week.
April 17 marks the start of the construction, which will be in four phases. Construction will take place, and significant traffic and access impacts are expected through the duration of the project, which is scheduled to run through mid-October.
Sayeed Afsar, the quality control manager for A.S. Horner Inc., said the project has $7 million set aside and he expects to have about 50 jobs available for local residents during the construction phase.
A.S. Horner is the company contracted to do the work, which Afsar is confident will be done on time.
“We’ve definitely got enough resources to get the job done by Oct. 1,” Afsar said.
Afsar spoke during a meeting Wednesday at the Tucumcari Police Department’s conference room. Future meetings will be held there for public concerns at 9 a.m. every Wednesday, starting this week. Attendants at the meeting said if things go smoothly enough, the meetings may go to a bi-weekly format in later months.
The construction is in four phases:
• Main and First Street intersection, April through July. The work involves the removal of existing pavement and installing storm drain, utilities, curb and gutter, sidewalks, new concrete pavement, new lighting and a traffic signal.
The intersection will be closed during the construction, and traffice will be detoured. Afsar said the streets were not wide enough to allow for partial work and enough room for two lanes of traffic.
A.S. Horner will be responsible for maintaining access to businesses within the affected area.
“We will do everything possible to minimize the impact to the businesses,” Afsar said.
Northbound and southbound traffic will detour from Maple to Rock Island to Center and back to First Street. Eastbound and westbound traffic will use Rock Island to Center, then back to Main.
• Route 66 and First Street intersection, April through October. The work includes the removal and replacement of concrete pavement, storm drains, utilities, curbs and gutters, sidewalks, wheelchair ramps, lighting and signals.
The work will be done in four quadrants. The northeast and southeast quadrants are scheduled for work from April 17 to July 14. The northwest and southwest quadrants will see work from July 15 to Oct. 13. Center Street will be used for detour purposes.
• The I-40 interchange area to Washington Street, April through June. The work consists of improving and replacing ramps, milling and repaving, utilities, storm drains, lighting, curb and gutter, sidewalk and wheelchair ramps.
The company will do as much work as possible in the zone before June 1, officials said. Tucumcari Fire Chief Mike Cherry advised that Washington Street is important for emergency vehicles throughout the day and night.
“Washington is going to have to be an open street for us,” Cherry said. “We’re going to have to have some access at all times to the hospital.”
• Maple Avenue intersection, April through June. The work will be done in two phases, from April 17 to June 15. Also during this time, crews will work to mill and repave First Street from the railroad bridge to Maple and do deck sealing work as well.
The speed limit through construction zones will be 25 mph, and Afsar said there would be a double fine zone where employees were present.
Afsar said residents shouldn’t have to wait for Wednesday meetings if they have concerns with the project, and said they could call Johnny Macias (461-3354) or Tommy Garcia (461-4619) with questions as well.