Central Avenue construction gets underway

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By Jennifer Garcia

Construction crews dotted Central Avenue as revamping of the Central Avenue pedestrian crossings and streetscape project began this past Thursday.

According to the county website, the purpose of the project is to ensure pedestrian safety on that busy stretch of road; provide access and compliance with the American Disabilities Act; and encourage downtown revitalization and economic development.

Work began along the south side of Central from 15th Street, near the Bradbury Science Museum, to 6th Street, near Smith’s grocery store. Lanes have been narrowed to establish traffic control.

The south-side parking lane will be closed until approximately mid-October, at which time work will move to the north side of Central Avenue. The sidewalk along the south side of Central Avenue will also be closed from 15th Street to Knecht Street for the next few weeks.

As the project progresses, additional portions of the sidewalk will be closed. Working hours are 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Construction is expected to last approximately three months.

A county press release stated work to be completed includes the installation of new curb and gutter, sidewalks, sidewalk detail; drive pads, pedestrian ramps, pedestrian lighting, hanging flower baskets, street bulb-out planters, landscaping and irrigation.

Installation of a utility duct bank, fiber optic cable for the Airport Basin Site and replacement of existing decorative lights between 15th and 20th Streets to provide a consistent look throughout the Central corridor are also part of the project scope.

County council awarded the project to SG Western Inc. at the July 29 meeting, establishing a project budget project of $1,768,908. A MainStreet grant and LA Walks have provided partial funding for this project. LA Walks is active in promoting connecting pedestrian pathways in Los Alamos and is associated with the N.M. State Walkability Advocacy Group.

As a result of the construction, the Atomic City Transit downtown circulator bus will stop at designated locations along Central Avenue rather than using the usual flagging system. Riders are asked to congregate on the north side of the road near The Blue Window, or in front of the Bradbury Science Museum parking lot for pickup.

This coming year LA Walks plans to sponsor information seminars, such as Health Focus: “Walking Just for the Health of it,” a forum on access from and across Trinity Drive to proposed Trinity site development and what community planning can do to help its residents save money: Support transit, improve pedestrian and biking access, round-abouts.

 If interested in participating in the LA Walks program, please contact: Janie P O’Rourke porjanie@SWCP.com