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(Elizabeth Lewis - Daily Press)

(Elizabeth Lewis – Daily Press)

Artesia drivers may have noticed traffic cones, the first sign of impending road construction, popping up on West Richey Avenue between 13th and 26th streets in the past week.

Constructor’s Inc. began their four-phase project this week and has started manhole and street rehabilitation. The current manholes are uneven compared to the asphalt around them, and this project consists of new concrete placement around existing manholes and removal and replacement of existing asphalt to fix that.

“We’re working on getting those raised to grade and getting them smoothed out,” said Infrastructure Director Byron Landfair at Tuesday night’s city council meeting.

Water and sewer line work as well as utility testing will also be part of the project. A new water line is being installed, and an existing sewer line is being replaced.

According to project manager Jana Lessard, the entire project will take approximately three months and is scheduled to end Jan. 6, 2016.

“We’re breaking this project into four phases for the benefit of the Artesia people,” Lessard said. “Depending on if the weather cooperates, we should have it all done in early January.”

Westbound lanes of Richey will be affected, as both lanes going west have been closed. As of now, one of the eastbound lanes has been turned into a temporary westbound lane. Traffic patterns are expected to change several times throughout the duration of the project.