Portales resident Kathleen Turnbow said the city’s most recent project to be approved will be a bittersweet one.
The retired resident lives along the stretch of 18th Street that will be rehabilitated, a project she says is long overdue but isn’t a real solution to the problem.
“We get lots of truck traffic out on this road,” said Turnbow, who’s lived at her 18th Street home for 44 years. “It needs to be done but I dread them doing it. It’s a slow process.”
The Portales City Council approved a resolution Tuesday to participate in a cooperative agreement with the New Mexico Department of Transportation to repair 18th Street from Avenue O to U.S. 70.
The project cost totals a little less than $75,000, 75 percent of which will be paid by the NMDOT and the city will put up a 25 percent match. Portales Mayor Sharon King is to sign off on the agreement.
Public Works Director John DeSha said the pavement will be redone through chipping and sealing it. He had said the road is falling apart.
Ward B councilor and school bus driver Oscar Robinson said there are portions of the road that dip low which can prevent drainage.
DeSha said although he will reprofile streets so the roadway itself won’t hold water, he can’t control where the water goes.
Turnbow said it’s been at least 10 years since that portion of road has been chipped and sealed but she feels when the city does do this, it never lasts.
“Cars and pickups aren’t near as hard on the road as loaded trucks, but that’s the way it goes,” she said. “I knew they were going to have to resurface the road.”
She said despite it being a slow process, the only inconvenience for her with them working on the road is not having access to her carport, causing her to park her car on a side street.
“There will be dirt and noise but it needs to be done,” she said.
Turnbow said the only long-term solution to fix the city’s streets would be to build a truck bypass so that the truck traffic doesn’t have to travel through town. She thinks this could conserve the life of the roads.