Diamond Drive Phase 2 almost finished

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By Special to the Monitor

Work on the Diamond Drive Phase II Project continues to move toward completion. While the original ssubstantial completion due date of Oct. 27 has come and gone, ongoing contract adjustments are expected to extend the substantial completion date to approximately Tuesday.


Substantial completion means that all major aspects of the project are completed, including the roadway paving and striping, a fully functional traffic signal at Diamond and 38th/Arkansas, and placement of all traffic control devices.


Final completion is still scheduled for Dec. 1, giving the contractor time to complete identified punch-list items.


Project Manager Rey Gonzales said items currently remaining include paving intersections at 35th Street south and 37th Street, striping the Arkansas/38th Street intersection and north side of the roadway, activating the new traffic signals at the Arkansas/38th Street intersection, and completing sidewalk and curb work in areas where utility poles must be removed.


Pole removal is tentatively scheduled for this week and the concrete work will follow as weather permits.


Left turns within the project have been reinstated except for the Arkansas/38th intersection. Left turns will be allowed at this intersection as soon as the new traffic signal is functioning.


Once all the traffic control components, including the signal, street lights, roadway markings and street signs are placed and tested, the signal can be activated and left turns will be allowed.


Another item currently being addressed by the Project Manager and the design engineers is the slope of the 37th Street intersection and the east 37th Street sidewalk at the curb return. Possible solutions are being investigated; however, with winter weather fast approaching, these issues may not be resolved and implemented until the next construction season.


In the meantime, the Diamond / 37th Street intersection has been moved from a Priority 3 Residential Street to a Priority 1 Primary Street for snow and ice control. In addition, the east 37th Street sidewalk at the curb return will be closed. 37th Street pedestrians will need to cross 37th street to the west side, continue north to Diamond Drive, and then cross at the intersection to continue east.


This has been a very difficult construction project on the county’s primary arterial roadway. The most difficult aspects of this project were the limited work area, high traffic volume, the number of side street intersections, and the extensive amount of work that had to be accomplished.


Work included replacing and under-grounding of all existing utility lines, including gas, water, sewer, electric, and Qwest & Comcast facilities; complete roadway and sidewalk reconstruction; as well as widening the roadway to accommodate a center turning lane and bike lanes.


County staff would like to thank each person who has traveled through the work zone for their enduring patience and understanding. Additional thanks goes to those who promptly communicated project concerns, thereby allowing issues that could be fixed to be addressed as promptly as possible.


Phase 3, scheduled for the 2009 construction season, will start south of School Canyon and continue to North Road. This section should be much easier on motorists due to the wider right of way, less utility work, and fewer intersections.


Phase 4, from North Road to the Los Alamos Canyon Bridge, is scheduled for construction in 2010.


For more information about the project, call the Public Works Department at 662-8150 or visit the county’s website: www.losalamosnm.us/Projects/Public Works/Diamond Project. Stay informed subscribe for electronic updates on the website.