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Academy Work Is At Contractor’s Expense

WHY DO ACADEMY TWICE? That question has come from more than one Albuquerque driver.

RLB emails, “I see after just digging up and ‘repairing’ Academy east of Eubank, they are doing it again. What did they do wrong the first time?”

And Concerned Citizen recently emailed City Hall, saying, “I want to point out a DEEP concern I have on some road work being done on Academy between Eubank and Rolling Hills. Not long ago the road was torn up down to the dirt, new rod iron supports were then laid out and a very thick layer of concrete was poured — enough concrete to land a 747. Not long after the job was finally done, they are now out there tearing up everything they did! This is a very obvious waste of my taxpayer money. All up and down Academy needs rework. Why are they reworking what they reworked?!”

Because city officials say the work wasn’t up to standards and they are holding the contractor to his/her promise, protecting, not wasting, taxpayer money.

Michael Riordan, director of the city’s Department of Municipal Development, says the readers “are correct that this work was recently done. The purpose of the project was to install high-strength concrete at the intersection due to the constant maintenance need of the asphalt in the area that would continue to become rutted. When we tested the concrete after it was expected to be at full strength, we identified some significant cracks in the material. At the contractor’s expense this work is being redone. The cost will not be at the burden of the taxpayers.”

GUARDRAIL SIGNS DEFY LOGIC AND PHYSICS: That’s something George Allen has noticed.

He says via email, “I travel quite a bit throughout New Mexico, and I’m curious about a sign I see on Interstate 40 and Interstate 25 quite frequently. It says ‘damaged guardrail ahead.’ What is the purpose of this sign? I should wait to crash into the next guard rail? I’m just driving right by at 75 mph and aren’t affected in any way by a damaged guardrail.”

Good eye. It’s all about where the damage is and how long it will take to repair it.

Phil Gallegos, who handles information for the metro area office of the New Mexico Department of Transportation, says George “has a keen eye and has noticed something prevalent on more rural highways. The contractors that repair these damaged guardrails have a more difficult time making those repairs because of the remoteness or distance involved. Here in our district — Three — we do not use the ‘Damaged Guardrail Ahead’ signs because most of the contractors are located in the Albuquerque area and that down time is minimal. Without the signs in place the damaged guardrail may be reported over and over by the public and law enforcement when in fact the NMDOT is aware of the damage and has already scheduled repairs.”

CAR-SEAT CLINICS PAY OFF IN SAFETY: A recent column announced that Safer New Mexico Now, the state Department of Transportation and Kohl’s department stores were partnering up to offer free car-seat clinics across the state on Aug. 25.

And it was a good thing people showed up to have their equipment and installations checked.

Lisa Kelloff of Safer says at the Santa Fe, Las Cruces and three Albuquerque sites, a total of:

♦ 71 technicians worked

♦ 130 child-safety seats were inspected

♦ 46 child-safety seats were distributed

♦ 95 child-safety seats were incorrectly used

♦ 18 child-safety seats were uninstalled

That computes to a 73 percent misuse rate, backing up Safer’s claim that three out of four car seats are used incorrectly, placing the young passenger at risk in the event of a crash.

FROM THE MOUTHS OF BEAVERS: State Farm Insurance recently handed out a Buckle Up coloring book at Isotopes Park, and it is notable to drivers for the jokes on the back page from Buckley the Safety Belt Beaver. They include: “Why don’t traffic lights ever go swimming?”

Answer: “Because they take too long changing.”

Assistant editorial page editor D’Val Westphal tackles commuter issues for the Metro area on Mondays and West Siders and Rio Ranchoans on Thursdays. Reach her at 823-3858;; P.O. Drawer J, Albuquerque, NM 87103; or go to to read previous columns and join in the conversation.
— This article appeared on page A4 of the Albuquerque Journal