TLC has left-over large drainage pipe for sale

By Mary Alice Murphy

Joel Miller, TLC assistant superintendent, and Joseph Garcia of New Mexico Department of Transportation held what they expect to be the final meeting on the Pinos Altos, New Mexico 15, Road construction project that has been going on for about 14 months.

Miller warned that traffic will be switching back and forth, especially on 32nd Street, for at least the next couple of weeks, so they can pave one side and then the other.

He said they are trying hard to get the paving done as soon as they can. "We've had a smoothness issue. DOT has specific specs on tolerance, and they cannot be off more than ¼-inch. Southwest Concrete and Paving is our subcontractor, because we were having problems getting pavers down from Albuquerque, because they are so busy up there."

He said Southwest was working with them on the tolerance issue, which might have been caused by a mechanical issue. He said Southwest Concrete and Paving has been a good partner, and the problem could have happened with the pavers they usually use. "They are resolving it to match DOT quality specs. It'll happen."

"We have to have the paved roadway totally completed before we can set the valves and manholes in place," Miller explained. "We have lots of little things going on to finish up, so we expect to be done in mid-July or soon after. We have at least two or three more weeks of work.

"For lighting, we still have seven holes to drill to put in the poles," he said. "Six on 32nd and one down near the Silver Heights intersection. All of them are in rock, so it won't be easy. We also have a lot of signs to put up. It will take a week to a week and a half to get all the permanent signs up. We also have to finish the colored concrete in the median on P.A. Road above 32nd Street."

Other smaller projects include replacing portions of some of the concrete aprons and driveways, where "we probably let residents drive on them too soon. We will also be putting an additional gravity wall across from Peck's Body Shop. That will take a week to finish. We added a new wall at McDonald's across from R&L, but all driveways are open into McDonald's now."

DOT is checking the smoothness of the roads and sidewalks, and any that are out of tolerance will need to be fixed.

"We have to do a substantial concrete slope at the northwest corner of P.A. Road and 32nd," Miller continued. "Once the pavement is complete and the broken concrete is replaced, the sealers will come in, remove the spaces between sidewalk and gutter sections and seal them. It took about two weeks to get all the fencing up that was new or had to be replaced. The rip rap contractor was finished in a week. Just south of the Bosworth entrance, we need to put in a retaining wall to keep dirt from washing onto the roadway. We have lots of stuff happening, but it's coming together. When all is done, the seeders will come in to seed the slopes that require it. We'll get the seeding survey done, so we can give an estimate to DOT to decide if the amount we chose is what they think is needed. If we can get the seed on before the monsoons, it'll fill in quickly. It's one of the last things to do. That and the roadway striping."

He said two types of seed are used, A or B, based on the slope angle.

"I think DOT is pleased overall," Miller said. Garcia agreed.

Miller said electricians have a week or more of work to do, including drilling the seven holes for light poles.

"It's real bright out there at night," he said. "But the light doesn't spread out all over the place. It's focused on the ground."

To a question about whether there would be a light pole at the northeast corner behind the Moose Lodge to light the curve, Miller confirmed there would be. "The phone lines are high enough to clear the fixture, but the communications lines are not. They are aware of it and have to resolve it. We raised the area four feet."

In discussing the huge drainage structures that were put in along the route, Miller said that places like R&L and Peck's that used to flood in a big rainstorm, "I don't think will flood anymore."

"Several people who had problems, such as Pampered Pet and Mi Casitas on Bosworth, that were not addressed in the plans, paid TLC to do paving of driveways and ramps. We did it basically at cost, and most seem pleased with the results. After this week, we will have only five guys here doing concrete work, so if you want us to do anything, call us quickly and if we have time, we'll do it while we're still here. It will be cheaper now than if you have to pay to bring in the material and the equipment."

Miller said they are selling culvert pipe that was left over at cost, so they don't have to transport it back to Albuquerque. "We have 48-inch, 42-inch and 30-inch. Call us in the next week or so or it will be transported back north."

"We're cleaning up the materials yards we've been using," Miller said. "We have no big things left, and we are definitely ahead of schedule, as we anticipated September or October before we would be done. I would be astounded if we were here past mid-July.

"We've had a good time here," Miller said. "Yes, there were problems, but when we fixed them, people appreciated it. It's been a good job, but I'm looking forward to spending more time at home. I would get home late Friday night, have Saturday, and then be coming back on Sunday, but it's been good. We want to do the best job we can. Thanks to everyone for being reasonable."

Live from Silver City

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