Gas-tax bond next paying for Agua Fría Street repaving, expected to start in May

January 24, 2019

The repaving of Agua Fría Street between St. Francis Drive and Osage Avenue is next up in a series of road projects the city is funding with an $11 million gas-tax bond issue passed by the City Council last year.

The $1.3 million project, scheduled to begin in May, follows three other repaving projects that all came in under budget, leaving about $900,000 in savings the city wants to use to upgrade more streets.

Regina Wheeler, Public Works Department director, said Tuesday the bond issue is making a noticeable difference.

“You can see the roads [that have] been paved, you just feel almost like you’ve gone to another city now,” she said. “Paseo de Peralta is so great. Rodeo Road, where it’s been done, it’s just smooth sailing. There’s no potholes right now, so we need to do a lot more of this. We’re a little bit behind on our roads, but we’re going to try to catch up.”

So far, contractors hired by the city have completed or are nearing completion of repaving work on long stretches of Rodeo and Zia roads, Paseo de Peralta and Upper Canyon Road, which were all identified in phase one of the three-phase plan. Contractors completed paving but still need to stripe a short section of Old Pecos Trail, which is part of phase two projects.

In addition to Agua Fría Street, other phase two projects the city expects to start this summer — or “at least when the paving weather starts,” city Streets Division Director Javier Martinez said during a Tuesday presentation to the city Finance Committee — include Avenida de las Campanas, a section of Galisteo Road on the south end of town and Johnson Street downtown.

“Siler Road is also going to start this summer as soon as the contractors pave some of those other roadways,” he said. “We’re planning to complete all of phase two this next paving season.”

Phase three, which begins in August, includes Camino Entrada in southwest Santa Fe, Rufina Street between Siler and Zafarano Drive and another, smaller section of Agua Fría from Siler to the boundary of the unincorporated area of the county.

“After each phase is done, any savings from the projects — we anticipate that each phase will have some savings, it seems like the initial estimates that were done were a little overestimated — so any of the money that comes back, we will reallocate those funds to additional roadways,” Martinez said, adding that the Streets Division will come forward with recommendations for the City Council to consider.

Councilors on the Finance Committee were pleased with the update.

“Keep up the good work,” City Councilor Mike Harris said.

“I just echo Councilor Harris when he said, ‘Keep up the good work,’ ” City Councilor Signe Lindell said. “It seems like we’ve really been making some great progress.”

Follow Daniel J. Chacón on Twitter @danieljchacon.