The state Department of Transportation says it’s about to begin projects to smooth out the pavement on some major Santa Fe streets, including a heavily traveled section of St. Michael’s Drive and part of the Paseo de Peralta loop around the downtown.
Although roadwork usually means detours, traffic bottlenecks and frustration for drivers, the projects should help reduce another headache for local motorists — potholes and rough pavement.
“This winter caused a lot of deterioration on all roads,” Rosanne Rodriguez, spokeswoman for the department’s District 5 office in Santa Fe, said Tuesday.
While thoroughfares such as Cerrillos Road, St. Michael’s Drive, Paseo de Peralta and St. Francis Drive are within city limits the state has maintenance responsibility for what are designated state roads.
The highway agency this summer will begin “pavement preservation” projects — fixing potholes, blade patching and crack sealing — on significant swaths of three Santa Fe streets:
• St. Michael’s Drive between Cerrillos Road and St. Francis Drive, about 1.5 miles.
• Paseo de Peralta between Old Taos Highway and St. Francis Drive, about two miles.
• Guadalupe Street from its intersection with Paseo de Peralta by the Santa Fe Railyard north to Santa Fe National Cemetery, about 1.3 miles.
Similar work is planned on N.M. 599 between N.M. 14 south of the city near the Allsup’s convenience store off N.M. 14 to the exit for U.S. 84/285 north of town, about 13 miles.
“We are looking forward to these projects starting this summer sometime after July when our funds become available,” Rodriguez said.
The total cost for the projects is about $8 million, she said. Though the department administers federal highway funds earmarked for New Mexico, Rodriguez said all these projects are funded with state money.
For the St. Michael’s Drive project, Rodriguez said, the department already has started “core” work — cutting small sections of roadway to determine the extent of the repairs required.
These projects all are contract maintenance projects, she said, which means they won’t have to go through bid processes. “We do this work with our maintenance patrols,” Rodriguez said.
The Department of Transportation already is working on a $600,000 intersection improvement project on N.M. 599 at Via Veteranos, which Rodriguez said is expected to be finished late this week, and finishing work on the $1.78 million North Guadalupe Street bridge project for handling heavy southbound traffic from St. Francis Drive onto Guadalupe near the DeVargas Center mall. Work there started in September but was suspended during winter months.
“We need to paint the structure, complete final striping and complete the joint strip seals.” Rodriguez said of the bridge. “The contractor should be done with this work by end of June, weather permitting.”
The department recently finished work on a $7 million improvement project on Interstate 25 from Cañoncito to the Eldorado turnoff.