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Where do we go from here?

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By Ralph Damiani

The council’s vote to rethink the West Jemez Bypass project is perhaps a bit controversial but is the right action.Only, it may be too late – just what do we do now?The state only came up with a small portion of the money needed – about a third of what the governor promised.The motion apparently does not guarantee that the bypass will be built at all. It just asks staff for more information. If that is why Robert Gibson and Jim Hall voted no, then we understand.How much more do you need to know that the proposed road along the hill below the Research Park is a bad idea?Do you like 40-foot retaining walls? How about trucking in more than 100,000 cubic yards of land fill?But is there an alternative?Now, you will have to go down West Road, past the skating rink and up the hill to pick up the road LANL built as part of the agreement it reached with the county a couple of years ago.While that does not sound too good, is the cliff option any better? Is there a better option?We don’t see it.Fran Berting’s motion to ask staff to look at options for locating a bypass near the security perimeter gates is well intentioned and probably the right action.But we keep coming back to the question, where do you put a road to connect to the one LANL built that makes any sense?The case was made that the road is not needed at all, that going through the lab gates is not a problem. But the reality is that that could change at any time and then what?It seems to us something needs to be done but given what the county has agreed to in the past, those options may be very limited.