Aug. 6—Think the drive up from Albuquerque has been a nightmare? There's more where that came from.
As the New Mexico Department of Transportation continues a $42 million improvement project on Interstate 25 that has stalled traffic, the city of Santa Fe is preparing for its own commute-altering road project on a major thoroughfare.
Santa Fe will begin repaving a stretch of Cerrillos Road between Cielo Court and Camino Carlos Rey on Monday, which city officials expect to slow down motorists heading to and from downtown Santa Fe.
"I would say, you could probably run into maybe 30-minute delays," Mark Brooks, streets and drainage project administrator with the city's Street Services Division, said Thursday. "I would definitely seek alternative roads."
According to Brooks, the roadwork will last approximately a month and will result in at least one lane being shut down every day as a contractor completes the work.
For the first two weeks, crews will be working on the southbound lane, followed by two weeks working on the northbound lane. As crews chip away at the northbound lane, the southbound lane should be finished and in working order.
The work will take place between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., which Brooks said is due to a city noise ordinance and nearby hotels and motels that would otherwise be disrupted by the racket.
"If we could get off the road before 5, we would love to be off the road before 5," Brooks said. "Cerrillos is not a fun road for us to work on either."
It's also the first time the city has had to take responsibility for repaving this stretch of road. The city took over some previously state-maintained roads, including stretches of Cerrillos, St. Michael's Drive and Old Pecos Trail about a year ago.
This increased the city's Priority 1 roads — major collector roads that are integral for emergency services — by 50 percent and resulted in the city having to buy new road equipment and hire more street workers.
Brooks said he believes the last time this portion of Cerrillos Road was repaved was about a decade ago.
"It has basically lived its life," he said. "It is time for rehabilitation."
Brooks said as funds become available, the city will repave Cerrillos Road section-by-section over a three-year-period, ultimately wrapping up at Airport Road.