Portales streets receiving facelift

By Tony Parra

Portales residents will have to adjust to the sounds of construction on their streets within 60 days in street projects costing more than $190,000.
Tom Howell, public works director, said he hopes street repairs, curb and gutter construction will begin in approximately 45 days, but noted that it could take up to 60 days for it to start.
He said the construction work will be completed within 120 days after the first day of repairs and upgrades, barring any weather delays.
The City of Portales representatives recently awarded a bid to K. Barnett and Sons of Clovis to do the construction work. K. Barnett and Sons, Inc. had the lowest bid at $227,087 followed by Lipham Construction Co., Inc. out of Hereford, Texas with a bid of $234,777.
The City of Portales has $194,000 appropriated for the street construction and since the bid is higher than the amount, Howell has requested the city cut back on some of the construction work to lower the cost. This means part of the streets will not receive curb and cutter work.
The city received $194,000 from severance tax monies through the 2004 state Legislature. Howell said street upgrades will take place in two different parts of Portales. He said one project will take place on N. Ave. O and the other on Boulder Ave.
Howell said curb and gutter repair will start above Lime Street and move north towards Spruce Street.
The other portion will take place on Boulder from 10th St. to 12th St.
Howell said depending on what the construction company does the street may be closed. He said typically the streets are closed for through traffic for a couple of days.
“What will happen is once we get started on the streets, we will notify the people living in the area,” Howell said. “The big issue is the driveways. We will work with the people as we go.”
Howell said people may need to park across the street or find other spots to park during the construction besides their driveways.
According to Howell, a pre-construction meeting will take place between the city and K. Barnett and Sons, Inc. officials to discuss the cutbacks, sign contracts and allow the city to provide a notice to proceed.
City Councilor Jake Lopez said curb and gutter work is much-needed in parts of Portales. Lopez lobbied for state monies for street upgrades in the north part of town and the city received $466,528 through a community development block grant in late March for similar work in streets such as N. Abilene Ave., E. Ivy St., E. Lime St., N. Boston Ave., E. Kaywood St. and N. Main St.