A $23 million renovation project has begun on Valley Drive.
The work, which has been in the planning stages for several years, kicked off Monday morning, June 25, between Amador and Picacho and along Avenida de Mesilla from Valley to Hickory, said Wyatt D. Kartchner of Molzen-Corbin Associates of Las Cruces, the project’s engineering firm.
The project will renovate a 1.5-mile stretch of Valley Drive from Picacho Avenue on the north to Avenida de Mesilla on the south and reconstruct Avenida de Mesilla between Valley Drive and Hickory Street. It will include sidewalks, buffered bike lanes and four-foot-wide parkways. The project will also include storm drainage, roadway improvements, curbs and gutters, new traffic signals, street lights and other safety improvements.
The New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) will pay the entire cost of the renovation project because Valley Drive is a state road (New Mexico Highway 188).
The project is expected to continue until late fall 2019, Katchner said.
During an overview of the project at June 20 public meeting, NMDOT Project Manager Ryan Tafoya said there will be three phases to the project: phase I will be from Picacho Avenue to Amador Avenue on Valley Drive, which will be reduced from four lanes of traffic to two during this phase; phase II will be Avenida de Mesilla with great concentration on the Hickory intersection; phase III will continue on Valley Drive from Amador Avenue to Avenida de Mesilla.
Utility shut-offs and hookups are scheduled to take place during early-morning hours to minimize household and business interruption, Tafoya said at the meeting.
“We realize this project will take time and cause delays,” City Councilor Jack Eakman said, “but the business venues affected by this project are more than worth your time and money to continue interactions.”
The project, which is entirely in Eakman’s council District 4, is “a tremendous improvement for the city and the region benefitting access, modes of transportation, economic development and aesthetics,” he said. “Planning, organizing, coordination and controls will be required at the highest level of quality.”
Public information meetings about the project will take place at 6 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month at the NMDOT offices at 750 N. Solano Drive, Eakman said.
For more information, contact Tafoya at 575-418-7891. Visit www.valleydrive.net and www.las-cruces.org/departments/administration/valleydrive.