By Tony Parra
Brazier Construction officials are hopeful to start repaving of New Mexico Highway 206 by mid-March. A three-mile portion of loose gravel leading into the town of Dora has left area residents and travelers to deal with poor road conditions throughout the winter.
Anthony Pacheco, a Brazier Construction paving supervisor for the project, said once they begin laying the asphalt they will complete the work 60 to 90 days later. Pacheco said work on the highway project began on Oct. 17.
Pacheco said the construction workers go through a process of recycling the asphalt and a melting machine along with cold asphalt material in laying the new surface down. The contractor grinds three to four inches of old roadway, adds new oil then lays pavement back in place. Pacheco said there is a three-mile portion leading into Dora which needs to be completed.
Some Dora residents said the three-mile portion, which is loose gravel, has caused windshield damage to their vehicles.
According to Pacheco, they tried to lay down the asphalt before the cold weather started but were unable to complete the project. Pacheco said the weather must be above 40 F for the recycled paving material to be laid down successfully.
“All we can do is sweep anything off the road,” Pacheco said. “Unfortunately it left a three-mile portion open.”
Pacheco apologized for any inconvenience this may have caused for travelers.
Pacheco said construction workers ran into some obstacles when they were trying to lay the new asphalt down.
“We made every effort to cover it,” Pacheco said. “Unfortunately windy weather, the Floyd fires and temperatures not being on our side kept us from being able to do it.”
Pacheco said five-to-seven miles of work was completed on part of the highway going from Portales to Dora, leaving the highway in smooth, excellent condition.
The $1.5 million project between mile posts 58-82 on N.M. 206 was awarded to Brazier Construction, a Colorado-based contractor in October, according to a press release from the New Mexico Department of Transportation.