DOT releases $1.2 million for bypass

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By Roger Snodgrass

The Department of Transportation has released $1.214 million for the West Jemez Road Bypass project in Los Alamos.

The department notified Sen. Jeff Bingaman Friday that money he had requested for this year’s budget was now available for building a road around security checkpoints in the area.

“The construction of the West Jemez Bypass road will make it easier for residents to get around without having to deal with new security measures associated with Los Alamos National Laboratory,” Bingaman said in a press release.

Assistant County Administrator Anthony Mortillaro welcomed the assurance of an additional federal contribution to the road project.

“The senator deserves a lot of gratitude for his efforts here,” he said Friday.

The notice arrives just as the county prepares to revisit the question of how to proceed with its share of the bypass project, connecting the Omega (Los Alamos Canyon) Bridge to the new Ski Hill Road.

After reaching a 90-percent design phase for a bypass plan, Los Alamos County Council decided to look at other alternatives last December.

“We now have gone through that analysis,” said Mortillaro, “and we have a bunch of costs to present to the transportation board and council for each.”

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