By ROB LARSON
Daily Press Staff Writer
With the installation of a new traffic signal at the intersection of Richey Avenue and U.S. 285 off schedule by a few months, Mayor Phillip Burch spoke with the Daily Press to relay the latest news from the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT).
“The latest I’ve heard on the traffic signal to be put in place at Richey and 285 is that bids will be opened in February,” Burch said. “Construction will begin in late March or early April. There is no projected completion date.” … For the rest of the story, subscribe in print and on the web.
Burch said the project’s lag time between when bids open and when construction begins “has nothing to do with construction and everything to do with the actual traffic signals.”
“The stoplights don’t just sit on the shelves and wait to be shipped off someplace,” Burch said. “When a new stoplight has to be put in, they begin making the lights at that point. That’s what takes so much time.
The actual construction is just pouring some pads, pulling some wires, and setting everything up.”
With construction possibly beginning in March or April, Burch said he is hopeful there will be a new traffic signal in operation by May or June.
Originally, Burch was advised by the DOT District 2 office in Roswell that the project had been approved and was in the planning stages as of June 2012. With that in mind, the mayor said he can understand why Artesians feel a bit frustrated by the project’s delay