More work gets underway at ABS

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By Jennifer Garcia

A lot can happen in a short amount of time.

It seems that not so long ago, the new Holiday Inn Express at the Entrada Site was nothing more than a sign announcing that construction would soon be underway. Today, the hotel is taking shape, as are the buildings at the Airport Basin Site.

A few months ago, a drive along N.M. 502 in front of DeColores Restaurant did not give a passersby any indication of what might be going on behind the restaurant. Today, rooftops peek out over the rim of the “bowl” behind the De Colores parking lot.

Construction continues at the Airport Basin Site and is on budget and on schedule. Residents looking into the “bowl” of the site and observing construction activities from the De Colores parking lot can watch buildings being worked on.

Exterior work is being finalized on some of the buildings, while interior work gets underway for other buildings.

Site work continues with curbs and gutters being installed on the north edge of Airport Basin Road. In addition, paving is set to happen next week and epoxy floor coating is scheduled for the second week of July.

The installation of site lighting is ongoing, as well.

Project Manager David Apple said crews are currently working on site work and have been broken up into two groups. The crews will work on utilities and tying in storm drains and some of the roof drains, as well.

“It’s not major stuff at this point,” Apple said. “They’re placing curb and gutter and the biggest thing to change will be when we start doing asphalt paving.”

Apple said Building H is one of the most complete buildings.

“We started on the pre-final punch list yesterday (Tuesday). We’ll have a formal walkthrough in the late part of July,” he said.

He also expects that Building C will be completed toward the middle to end of October.

Crews have also modified their schedule to take advantage of the nice weather.

“They did more concrete work while they could,” he said. “Overall we’re on schedule and on budget. I’ve started working with other departments on the move-in/move-out plans for the new facilities. There’s a lot of things that have to happen in the right order.”

Apple said he’s looking forward to the completion of the project, as this is the biggest project he’s worked on. He’s also happy with the progress and says they have a great team.

Communication has been key in keeping complaints to a minimum, Apple said.

“We wanted to have no complaints go beyond the project manager,” he explained. The businesses around the ABS project are notified whenever they will be impacted by work being done, so Apple believes that to be the reason crews have a good relationship with their neighbors.

“We’ve been having partnering sessions that were organized through Hensel Phelps. That’s their step in keeping the team working as a good partnership,” he said. “There’s a facilitator that runs the meeting and does a survey to gauge how we think we’re doing. I think that’s helped,” Apple said.

The crews have been meeting every three to four months and are scheduled to meet again on July 21.