Benches, trash receptacles could be placed downtown soon

First phase of Complete Streets project awaits amenities

Mike Easterling
Farmington Daily Times
The addition of trees and other vegetation to phase one of the downtown Farmington Complete Streets project will not come before October, but benches and trash receptacles could be added in the days ahead.

FARMINGTON — While many of the amenities included in the first phase of the downtown Complete Streets project won't be installed until October, city workers are expected to begin placing some new street furnishings in the district soon.

Most of the work on the first phase of the project was completed by July 10, when the stretch of Main Street and the sidewalks extending from Court Avenue to Orchard Avenue were opened to vehicle and pedestrian traffic. But city officials said several other elements of the project — landscaping, gateway signage, bike racks, free public WiFi service and a public address system — would come later.

Christa Chapman of Farmington's Parks, Recreation & Cultural Affairs department said Aug. 21 work on those amenities that will complete phase one would not begin before October. City officials have said they need to wait until cooler weather sets in to begin planting the trees, shrubs and other foliage to give them their best chance of survival.

Work on the second phase of the downtown Complete Streets project began in December with the removal of pavement from a section of West Main Street.

However, the new benches and trash receptacles that also are part of the project could be installed as early as this week, according to city spokeswoman Georgette Allen.

The project includes numerous concrete planters on sidewalks and in roundabouts where the landscaping will take done. Decorative boulders have been placed in some of those locations, but no vegetation has been planted to replace the dozens of trees that were removed when the work began in late December 2019.

More:Section of Main Street through downtown will reopen on July 9

Work on phase two of the project, which stretches from Allen Avenue to Auburn Avenue, began before the reopening of phase one. The pavement was removed and a chain-link fence was erected around the zone in the middle of June, allowing workers from AUI Inc. of Albuquerque, the project's general contractor, to begin tackling infrastructure improvements that are being made in addition to the surface changes.

According to a weekly progress report posted on the Complete Streets page of the city's website on Aug. 19, phase two is on schedule, and no weather delays have been reported.

City officials say work on phase two of the downtown Complete Streets project remains on schedule for completion in November.

The report states this week's work includes trenching for irrigation and electrical lines, the establishment of water service connections at Allen Avenue, the installation of electrical conduit on side streets, storm drain and manhole installation on Behrend Avenue and water potability testing.

More:Complaints from business owners surface as Complete Streets work progresses

The project, which totals $11.7 million with the infrastructure upgrades factored in, is scheduled for completion by November. For more information about Complete Streets, call 505-599-8442.

Mike Easterling can be reached at 505-564-4610 or measterling@daily-times.com. Support local journalism with a digital subscription.