Diamond Drive opens for traffic

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Intermittent closures likely for next 10 days for final touches by contractor

By Carol A. Clark

Commuters get a much-needed reprieve from Diamond Drive roadwork as the project winds down for the season. 
“The first part of Phase 4 is essentially complete,” said Pavement Division Manager Tom Roach. “Phase 5, which is the utilities portion, ran pretty much concurrently with Phase 4 and as of this week is substantially complete as well. We’ve got one more stretch of the project to complete from where we are now to the Omega Bridge starting next spring.”
That project also includes rebuilding the Lemon Lot and Sullivan Field parking lot.
Intermittent lane closures will continue through the next week to 10 days, Roach said, to allow the contractor to adjust manhole and valve covers in the travel lanes and finish miscellaneous shoulder and sidewalk work.
“All the milestones set out in the contract have been and will be met,” he said. “This project came in on time. I can’t speak right now to budget because there’s been some last-minute change orders but they’re all within the contingencies.”
County council awarded the Phase 4 project to AS Horner on March 2 for $6.3 million plus applicable gross receipts tax for the construction of Diamond Drive Phase 4 and $9.6 million to establish a Diamond Phase 4 construction project budget.
County and AS Horner staff thanked the public for its support during the long construction process.
“We truly appreciate the public’s patience and cooperation as we worked through this,” said Jane Volz, Public Works office manager.
Some changes of note on the project include pavement markings placed on the Sandia Drive approach to Diamond Drive that change the traffic flow on the eastbound leg of Sandia Drive.
On eastbound Sandia, the inside left lane is for left turns only, and the outside curb lane is a combination lane for the thru movement to Orange Street as well as the right turn movement onto Diamond.
This Sandia change has been implemented to make the Sandia and Orange Street lane movements to Diamond Drive the same on both sides of Diamond.
The westbound Orange Street approach to Diamond has not changed. Also, permanent fencing on the south pedestrian bridge will be installed early this week, then opened to the public.
As the project comes to a close for the winter, the final weekly open discussion meeting on the project will be 3:30-4:30 p.m. Wednesday, at Metzger’s Mobile Station at Arkansas Street.

Garrison Wells contributed to this story.
Carol A. Clark can be reached at lanews@lamonitor.com