DRIPPING SPRINGS DETOUR AND BRIDGE CONSTRUCTION SET TO GET UNDERWAY

DRIPPING SPRINGS DETOUR AND BRIDGE CONSTRUCTION SET TO GET UNDERWAY

Doña Ana County crews have begun moving dirt to construct a detour north of a section of Dripping Springs Road where an arroyo crosses the thoroughfare. After the detour is completed, crews will begin work to install a new bridge.

The detour is scheduled to open Oct. 22 and to last until the construction project is complete. Once the detour becomes operational, signage will alert drivers to reduce speeds, and the construction zone will carry a speed limit of 25 miles per hour, with fines doubled for speeding. For safety reasons, bicycle and pedestrian traffic will be strongly discouraged. Orange barrels and concrete barriers will be erected at strategic points along the detour to enhance safety and to protect private property from potential damage.

Construction of the prefabricated concrete bridge is expected to begin in late October and to be completed within nine weeks, weather permitting. The completed structure will measure 100 feet long and 64 feet wide to carry permanent traffic – including a bicycle lane – 16 feet above the area where the arroyo flows.

Total cost of the construction project is expected to be about $1 million, with most of that amount received from legislative appropriations from State Sen. Leonard Lee Rawson, R.-Doña Ana County, and State Rep. Joseph Cervantes, D.-Doña Ana County. The balance of the funding comes from the state’s GRIP II initiative to improve New Mexico infrastructure.

Doña Ana County is working closely with area property owners, including the First Evangelical Free Church, across whose land the detour will be constructed, employing a temporary easement. The county also is working with Elephant Butte Irrigation District, the Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum, New Mexico State University, Qwest and the City of Las Cruces to relocate utilities and otherwise prepare the area for the project.

Doña Ana County Public Works Director Jorge Granados said the project is one of the top priorities of his department.

“With assistance from Sen. Rawson and Rep. Cervantes and support from the Richardson Administration and the rest of our legislative delegation, Doña Ana County is moving this project forward as quickly as safely and feasibly possible. We ask the people who use the road on a daily basis to be patient and to exercise caution in the construction zone while we work to complete this important project.

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Reporters seeking more information or interviews may call county Public Information Director Jess Williams at (505) 525-5801.