Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. What is the purpose of the project?

   •    Upgrade the street to current standards to include sidewalk, bicycle lanes, and additional lanes at intersections
   •    Install a storm drain system to prevent flooding
   •    Improve the safety of the roadway by creating defined driveways and installing medians

2. Who is doing this project? The NMDOT or City of Las Cruces?

The NMDOT is the owner of the roadway and is managing the construction. The City of Las Cruces has contributed funds for the replacement of the utilities within the roadway and is a partner but the project is a NMDOT project.

3. Why isn't construction being done at night?

The contractor is working seven days a week from 7 a.m.-5 p.m. to complete this project as quickly as possible, with occasional night work if needed. If the contractor was working only at night, the project would take much longer to complete. Also, research has shown that working during daylight hours is more productive. This project is also located within a residential area so work at night would result in disturbances.

4. The project was planned to be constructed in 3 phases but now work is taking place in phase 1 and phase 3, why did this happen?

The NMDOT allows for the contractor (AUI) to propose alternate construction sequences to save time on the project. This change to the sequence will result in a time savings of approximately 75 days on the overall project.

5. Can the businesses impacted by construction be compensated by the NMDOT or City of Las Cruces?

No, the New Mexico state laws prohibit government entities from providing compensation to business due to the Anti-donation clause.

However, there is help from other organizations: The Green Chamber of Commerce has set up the the Construction Compadres and is organizing events along Valley Drive to encourage the public to continue to frequent these businesses during construction.

6. Will this project include landscaping?

Yes, the medians and locations behind the sidewalk will be landscaped.

7. When will this project be complete?

The 18 month project is scheduled to be complete in the first half of 2020.

8. Why are medians installed as part of these projects?

Medians are used as an access control device to improve the traffic flow and safety along the corridor. The National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) completed an analysis which showed that roadways with a non-traversable median have about 30% less average crash rates than roadways without. Additionally, the NMDOT, City of Las Cruces, and national standards all provide guidelines on when and where medians are required.

9. Why do the barricades have to stay up when the contractor isn't working?

Once barricades are in place, it is safer to leave them in place so that motorists can get used to traffic impacts and plan accordingly. Putting barricades out and taking them up again when the contractor isn't working can cause confusion, create safety hazards and ultimately lead to more accidents.

10. Why do these projects take so long to complete?

This project includes a significant amount of underground utility installation and replacement with trenches over 20-feet deep. The deep excavations, amount of infrastructure that needs to be installed, and keeping the roadway open during construction all contribute to the length of the project.