• upgrading deficient asphalt pavement
  • a waterline replacement
  • improvements to the curb ramps
  • the installation of new lighting at intersections
  • the addition of a raised median
  • median landscaping
  • pavement marking

The Rio Rancho Governing Body recently OK’d a bid award to an Albuquerque company to perform work on Riverside Drive. (Gregory Hasman/Observer)

Road work on Riverside Drive could begin this summer, though it is not clear whether it will be in a few weeks or a couple of months.  

The project will include upgrading deficient asphalt pavement; a waterline replacement; improvements to the curb ramps; the installation of new lighting at intersections; the addition of a raised median; median landscaping; and pavement marking. 

Last Thursday, the Rio Rancho Governing Body approved a $4.8 million bid award to Albuquerque Asphalt, Inc. to do the work. 

Funding will come from the New Mexico Department of Transportation, voter-approved 2020 general obligation bond proceeds and the city’s enterprise (utilities department) fund. 

Instead of starting in June or July, the project could start in September because of supply chain issues. But once it gets started, work could take six months, City Director of Public Works B.J. Gottlieb said at the Governing Body’s May 26 meeting. 

City Councilor Paul Wymer asked Gottlieb last week if the project cost could change because of the supply chain situation. 

The city will communicate with the contractor when they order the supplies. The price will be determined when the supplies are delivered, Gottlieb said. 

Councilor Daniel Stoddard asked Gottlieb if the city could purchase and house some of the materials themselves, such as pipes, then sell it to the contractor as a way to save money. 

The city has considered the idea, but a contractor may not want to use the materials that the city has stored or they would want a warranty with that, Gottlieb said, adding that that city could open itself up to liability issues if it stores materials. 

In the meantime, the city will work with the contractor to determine lead times for materials.

Once that has been discussed, the project may commence shortly after, or it may be delayed until the materials arrive and the contractor can begin the work, city spokeswoman Annemarie Garcia told the Observer.