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Meeting will review phase 2 of arterial route

Construction on phase 2 is expected to begin in spring 2018

Hannah Grover
hgrover@daily-times.com

FARMINGTON — An upcoming meeting will allow residents to comment on the environmental assessment prepared for phase 2 of the East Aztec Arterial Route.

The south segment of the East Aztec Arterial Route is pictured Jan. 12. A public meeting dealing with phase 2 of the project is scheduled for Thursday.

The Bureau of Land Management prepared the environmental assessment, which was released to the public earlier this month and can be found on the city of Aztec website.

The public can provide comments about the environmental assessment at the public meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday at Aztec City Hall, 201 W. Chaco St. Written comments can also be sent to City Clerk Karla Sayler at 201 W. Chaco St., Aztec NM 87410 or at ksayler@aztecnm.gov.

Comments will be accepted until Jan. 27.

City Manager Joshua Ray said as of Jan. 12, the city had not received any comments.

"It's actually a very clean environmental assessment," Ray said.

He said the review process is another step forward to completing the bypass. The arterial route is intended to redirect heavy truck traffic around Aztec. Officials say the route will protect historical buildings in the downtown area. Currently, all traffic on N.M. Highway 550 goes directly through downtown, and community leaders say the traffic is damaging the foundations of the buildings along Main Avenue. The new arterial route also is designed to increase pedestrian safety downtown, according to Daily Times archives.

When it is completed, the East Aztec Arterial Route will direct heavy truck traffic around downtown.

Aztec received state funding for part of the route and has completed both the north and south ends of the road. Phase 2 of the arterial route will connect those segments.

Ray said the city expects to begin accepting bids for the construction of phase 2 in late autumn. He said the city hopes construction will begin on the route in spring 2018.

"Everything's moving forward as planned," he said.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.