If it seems like you have driven past a lot of orange barrels this summer, you would be correct.
All of those orange barrels are connected to a variety of Rio Rancho local government road-improvement projects.
While construction work can be inconvenient at times, the end result — a smooth ride — is well worth it. I personally view every orange barrel I see as a sign of community progress and tax dollars at work.
Also, time and time again, community members have said improving roads should be the top priority for Rio Rancho. The work you are seeing is local government responding to this identified need.
Highlighting road improvement work this summer is the reconstruction of Southern Boulevard from NM 528 to Golf Course Road. This project has also included replacing all of the applicable water and sewer utilities.
Work on this section of Southern Boulevard will be wrapping up this fall. In the coming year, using budget savings, Southern Boulevard between Unser and Rainbow boulevards will receive improvement work.
In 2018, by a 78 percent margin, voters approved a general obligation bond question specifically dedicated for improving roads. Voters entrusted government with their hard-earned money to make progress as quickly as possible.
I am pleased to report that one project, Montreal Loop, was completed in fall 2018. Three more projects — Meadowlark Lane, Rockaway Boulevard and Abrazo Road — were completed this summer.
The two remaining bond-funded projects are Sundt Road and Country Club Drive. Work on Sundt Road just began, and the Country Club Drive project is slated for fall/winter.
Other road work occurring this summer includes improving a section of Northern Boulevard and crack-patching residential streets throughout the community. Work specific to residential streets will continue throughout the fall and pick up again in the spring.
• In June, the city council unanimously approved my nominee, David Campbell, as Rio Rancho’s next city manager. An extensive process was utilized to identify and vet applicants.
When I nominated Campbell, I believed he was the best candidate due to his background and familiarity with the region.
After two months on the job, Campbell has shown an energy level and excitement for the community that is invigorating. His experience as a private and government attorney, diplomat, planning department director and chief administrative officer has already been invaluable.
As Rio Rancho continues to pursue job creation, economy diversification and retail and commercial development goals, I believe the community is well-positioned with Campbell in place as a leader.
(Gregg Hull is the mayor of Rio Rancho. He was elected to his second four-year term in March 2018.)