Next step of U.S. 70 construction project to start

With Phase 1 of the U.S. 70 road construction project beginning its next step by moving over to First Street between University and South Avenue C in Portales, Project Supervisor John Guldemann of Constructors Inc. decided to share information on where road crews are at and where they're going:

Alisa Boswell: Portales News-Tribune

Constructors Inc. road crews are leveling Second Street between South Avenue I and University to prepare it for a new concrete surface.

Alisa Boswell: Portales News-Tribune

Constructors Inc. began the First Street side of Phase 1 of U.S. 70 road construction on Monday but they will not be digging as deep as on Second Street.

Alisa Boswell: Portales News-Tribune

Constructors Inc. road crews dispose of asphalt Friday after spending the week digging into First Street to prepare the road for its new concrete surface.

• Guldemann said road crews will not be digging as deep on the First Street side of Phase 1 as they did on the Second Street side, because they are trying to rework the materials on top instead of digging so deep.

  • Curbs, gutters and sidewalks on Second will be finished by the end of Monday. On Tuesday, crews will begin pouring concrete on the road.
  • Guldemann said road crews are about 11 days behind schedule for Phase 1 because of rain.
  • When road crews are seen digging two feet deeper than normal, it is because there is unusable soil in the ground that has to be removed and replaced with good materials. Unusable soil is soil that does not meet the structural integrity of materials being used in the project.
  • Unstable soil is soil that is too wet. When road crews push dirt into piles, it is so the dirt can dry out. Then crew flattens the soil back down again. This process is called processing.
  • Some road crews may be seen working at night for the next two weeks, according to Guldemann.
  • Guldemann said curbs are built first because road elevations are estimated based off the curbs. He said crews cannot work near curbs for several days after they are poured because they must cure.
  • "One thing we ask people to look out for is wet concrete," Guldemann said. "We pour a curing agent on top of it which can make it look dry but it's not." He also said road workers will be working closely to the driving lane after concrete is poured, so drivers need to keep closer watch for them.
  • Phase 1 is still expected to be completed in December.

— Photos and information by PNT staff writer Alisa Boswell.

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