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Faulty asphalt installed for ART at Central/Rio Grande to be replaced

Brittany Costello
September 25, 2017 05:07 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Everyone is looking forward to having a traffic cone-free Central Avenue as soon as possible.

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But on Monday morning, the Albuquerque Rapid Transit project received a bit of a setback when recently installed asphalt in the area of Central and Rio Grande was being torn up, frustrating people in the process.

ART spokeswoman Joanie Griffin said the asphalt batch used for the area was deemed to not be up to par following tests. But “not up to par” is also how residents would describe this latest development, even after months of experiencing cones, increased traffic and heavy machinery on the road.

“It’s an ongoing problem. We’ve had, behind me, two sections of concrete that have had to be demolished, removed and replaced,” said David Medina, president of the West Park Neighborhood Association. “It’s delay after delay after delay, and it’s getting frustrating.”

Medina says he’s lived just seconds from the intersection for 15 years and has actually been in favor of the project from the beginning.

“I think this is a project that this city was in need of,” Medina said. “Reliable on-time public transportation.”

Medina is still a supporter of ART, but he said from day one everything has been completely unorganized. Now, the September timeline to finish the Central and Rio Grande intersection has been pushed back to mid-October.

“It’s crazy. The delays are insane,” Medina said. “There are days (where) it’ll take you 15 to 18 minutes to get from Mountain Road to Central.”

Griffin said the asphalt in the area is being replaced because a bad batch was used and, after being tested, it was discovered it would not hold up for the life of the project. She also assured that the asphalt in this area “is being replaced at the expense of the contractor, not the city or taxpayers.”

Griffin added that setbacks such as this are taken into account when creating a timeline for completion of projects. Meanwhile, the overall project is not only still on track, but – according to Mayor Richard Berry at his State of the City address on Monday – it’s ahead of schedule, at 80 percent completion.

The asphalt replacement at Central and Rio Grande should be completed by early next week.

Credits

Brittany Costello

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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