By Christina Calloway
PNT senior writer
Portales City Councilor Dianne Parker said a few of her constituents have noticed areas along First Street that are low and creating puddles when it rains.
“The one concern was the last time we had that nice rain, I had one of my constituents text and ask me if I had seen what they
called the ‘bird baths,’” Parker said. “In particular at the intersection down near First Street and Avenue F, there was quite a bit of accumulated water there. It didn’t look like it was running to where it should been running, it looked pretty low there.”
Other areas of the $8.3 million project, such as a large bump on Second Street and Avenue E, have citizens confused and questioning if the project was done correctly.
“A lot of people are concerned by the bump at Municipal Court, some people slow down, which is good,” Parker said.
Constructors Inc. Project Manager John Guldemann said it’s not likely those issues would not get resolved because that area is complete.
“As far as any issues, the job is built, any elevations are the preferred design by (New Mexico Department of Transportation),” he said.
Guldemann said the bump on Second Street was purposely put there to shed water across Second Street so that it doesn’t stand in that intersection.
He said it would be up to the NMDOT to decide if those areas need fixing, but he added that if the project’s area is flat, there may be nothing they can do to change that.
“It’s built per plan, per design of the NMDOT,” Guldemann said. “As far as elevation, they’re done. Unless the NMDOT wants to address something with drainage, for all intents and purposes we’re done.”
Parker hopes the continual prodding from the council and residents to get it done fast did impact the quality of the project.
“I know at one point we were anxious to get them moving but my concern was, ‘yes we want to get them done but we want them to do it right,’” Parker said. “We want to make sure it’s done correctly.”
Guldemann said this week workers will be finishing the curb along First Street from Avenue C to Main. Starting next week, they’ll be working on the sidewalk in that area.
He feels workers have ample time to get things done correctly, weather-permitted.
“If it keeps raining we won’t make it (out of the downtown area by November) but if we get some clear windows, we’ll be out of there in no time,” he said.