By Angela Peacock
Construction is under way on the first of three City of Portales street maintenance projects.
Joe Perry, Portales’ street superintendent, said cost for the projects is $65,000. He said the state pays 75 percent of costs, with the city paying the balance.
Road crews are expected to have Avenue E repaved from Second Street to University Street within the next two weeks. As soon as school is over, Perry said repaving will begin on Avenue O, which runs from Highway 70 to 18th Street.
Avenue F will be repaved once construction is complete on the other projects.
Perry said the repair projects take months to put together.
Each March he turns in a grant application and usually doesn’t know until August how much money the city will receive from the state for street repairs. Then he and the city public works director review the city’s most traveled areas and the streets that citizens are concerned about before they make a final decision about where construction will take place.
“The repair requests for the roads we are working on now was made almost two years ago,” Perry said.
Perry said he welcomes all road complaints.
“We have over 95 miles of paved road in Portales so I can’t inspect each and every road but people calling to let me know their concerns helps me stay up to date about whatever major road problems may come up,” Perry said.
One other highway project is just days away from completion.
State Highway Project Manager, Alex Madrid said the construction of state Highway 70 between Portales and Clovis is nearly complete. All that’s left is placing the highway’s open grated friction course (OGFC), which Madrid said allows for better tire traction when it rains. The process is expected to be finished by May 9. After that, one day will be needed to paint the highway’s center strips, which Madrid said will be the last step in the $9.6 million construction project.
“When we’re through with the OGFC, you’re going to be able to tell a big difference on the highway,” Madrid said. “It’s nice now but the OGFC makes it even smoother.”