Construction continues on Aztec arterial route

Officials ask drivers to exercise caution while traveling on U.S. Highway 550 at the south end of Aztec as crews work on East Aztec Arterial Route

Hannah Grover
hgrover@daily-times.com
Construction continues on Wednesday on the southern phase of the East Aztec Arterial Route off U.S. Highway 550 just south of Aztec.

FARMINGTON — Officials have asked drivers to slow down and exercise caution while traveling on U.S. Highway 550 at the south end of Aztec as crews perform road work for the planned East Aztec Arterial Route.

Crews have been working to construct a turn lane from the highway onto the future road. Aztec City Manager Joshua Ray said phase 1B of the project is expected to be completed by late summer or early fall.

The city broke ground on phase 1B of the route in November.

Ray said officials are still negotiating the next phase of the project. A public comment period for the project ended in April, and an environmental assessment will determine how the road can be built with minimal ecological damage.

Ray said the city hopes to open phase 2 to bids early next year, adding that the city is pleased with the work done so far on phase 1B.

"It's a good looking project," Ray said about phase 1B of the arterial route.

Traffic slows on Wednesday for construction on the southern phase of the East Aztec Arterial Route off U.S. Highway 550 just south of Aztec.

The arterial route has been on a list of planned city projects for about 15 years. Aztec received $1.5 million last year in capital outlay funding to construct the arterial route.

Officials say the route will help preserve historic buildings in downtown Aztec by diverting heavy truck traffic around the city. The completed route will run from south of Aztec across from Pepsi Way to Navajo Dam Road.

"We're excited to see it come to fruition," Ray said.

Hannah Grover covers Aztec and Bloomfield, as well as general news, for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.

Construction continues on Wednesday on the southern phase of the East Aztec Arterial Route off U.S. Highway 550 just south of Aztec.