Solicitation of construction bids for additional work to connect two highways south of Carlsbad are expected in the coming months, said Eddy County Community Services Director Wesley Hooper.
He said bids for phase two of the Southeast Loop Road should start this month and bids for phase three could be accepted two months after phase two bids are closed.
The U.S. highways 285 and 62/180 tie-in via the 13-mile Southeast Loop Road is estimated to cost $28 million, Hooper said.
He said design work for traffic signals at U.S. 62/180, New Mexico 200, and the Southeast Loop Road were pending from the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT).
“We expect that this project will bid in August for construction,” he said.
Hooper said NMDOT, Eddy County and the City of Carlsbad agreed to a three-way partnership for the project.
“The actual construction work is complete, and the roads are tied together,” said Eddy County Manager Allen Davis of phase one construction.
Intersection south of Carlsbad in design mode
Hooper said bids for construction at the junction of U.S. 285 and New Mexico State 31 could go out in October.
“The design of the new intersection at New Mexico 31 and U.S. 285 is in the 90 percent design phase,” he said.
Hooper did not have an estimated cost of the construction project as NMDOT conducted cost analysis of the work.
Intersection upgrades and a new signal system along New Mexico 31 and U.S. 285 was part an overall project connecting New Mexico 31 with New Mexico State Road 128 from Eddy County to the Texas state line, read an NMDOT website.
“Industry and small businesses of Eddy County donated funding to have this intersection designed due to the fact that it was very dangerous,” Hooper said.
“Eddy County got with NMDOT and partnered with them as Eddy County paid for the design with the donated funds and NMDOT will pay for the construction,” he said.
Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway said the County was the leader on the Southeast Loop Road project.
“We are certainly happy to support the effort, and we’re thrilled about the capital outlay being devoted to this project. Anything that can helps with road expansion offers both safety benefits and the opportunity for future economic expansion,” he said.
Eddy County prepares for chip seal work of county roads
Eddy County Public Works Director Jason Burns said road crews in southern and northern Eddy County were ready to add life to existing pavement.
The Federal Highway Administration recommends chip sealing when temperatures are consistently above 50 degrees.
“Our South Department will focus on the last part of Bounds Road the west side. We’re going to complete that and move to Donaldson Farm (Road) and London Road with our reclamation and chip sealing program,” he said.
Burns said county crews planned to chip seal and repave parts of Standpipe Road west of Carlsbad.
“In the north, they are working on Lusk Plant Road. They’re going reclaim and chip seal that one. They are going to move to the North 13th and North 26th (Street) area (near Artesia) and get those done before the end of the fiscal year (June 30),” he said.
Burns said chip sealing work should start in July around Cottonwood Road to Shugart and Grubbs Roads near Artesia.