More than 550 people work as prairie dogs close resting area, MVD adds kiosk


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JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT IT WAS OVER: The folks in District 3 of the New Mexico Department of Transportation concluded more than two years of widening the US 550 between Interstate 25 and NM 528 in November.

And on January 3, the crews set off on the 550 deck above the Rio Grande.

Transportation Secretary Mike Sandoval, who has been very open about being stuck in construction safeguards himself, said that “the ministry recognizes that reconstruction work has just been completed on the US 550. , and many drivers want to know why this bridge rehabilitation project is taking place on the heels of the last project or why the work could not have been done simultaneously. The answer is that, during the previous project, the teams discovered the need to rehabilitate part of the bridge, but the discovery was unexpected and did not fit the scope of the work. We realize this will once again impact travel on the US 550, but safety is a priority and we need to make sure the bridge is safe for the traveling public. “

The seven-month project is scheduled until July. The teams will work from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday to Friday; two lanes of traffic will remain open in the eastbound lanes; the southernmost lane will be closed from the east of Sheriff’s Posse Road to the east of the Rio Grande Bridge, but access will be maintained to all residences and businesses. The NMDOT adds in its press release that “work is scheduled now as flows are at their lowest, and the schedule will also minimize impacts on migratory birds and animals that use the bridge during the hottest summer months. “.

More information on www.nmroads.com.

KEEP IT IN STATUS: Tom Weber asks “Why has the Interstate 40 rest area and visitor center at the Arizona border been closed for so long?” “

“We passed him on a Thanksgiving road trip,” he wrote via email. “It was very nicely renovated maybe 10 or 15 years ago and is a great welcome to our state for visitors arriving from the west. It has been closed since the start of the pandemic, but why? There is no work in progress, at first glance, and Arizona has some open rest areas that are in great shape. If it’s money, why isn’t the state investing in it with a record budget surplus? These rest areas on our borders provide tourists with all kinds of information to make them stay longer – and spend their money – in our state. As an NM taxpayer, I get aggravated by closed facilities like this when relying on places to stop over on a road trip.

BLAME THE PRAIRIE DOGS: Delane Baros, public information officer for District 6 of the state Department of Transportation, “understands your frustration with the closed facilities. The rest area and the Manuelito reception center have been closed since 2019 due to septic tank problems. Prairie dogs had buried themselves around the septic tank, creating dangerous environmental conditions. The landfill caused a sewage leak.

“At that time, the NMDOT had to hire a consultant to redesign the entire system. Once designed, construction work began to replace the septic system. In August, construction work was completed. The Ministry of Tourism manages the visitor center and a contract is being executed for the cleaning of the rest area. Since the beginning of December, the rest area has been open from Tuesday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will extend its opening hours once the cleaning contract has been completed and the reception center is full.

THIRD SELF-SERVICE MVD KIOSK: Late last year Derrick sent an email ‘over the weekend, and for the first time, I renewed my vehicle registration at one of the MVD kiosks in the Albertsons. off San Mateo and Montgomery. I have found it to be extremely user-friendly and practical. … Why are there only two and why are they both in the NE Heights of Albuquerque? “

Charlie Moore of NM Tax and Rev, who oversees the motor vehicle division, said “we are looking at new locations, including at least one on the West Side, but they are not yet installed.” In the meantime, MVD opened a new kiosk last week, albeit in the NE Heights. The Sandia Laboratory Federal Credit Union kiosk in Juan Tabo and Comanche is the first to accept cash, and it joins the Albertsons kiosks in Montgomery and San Mateo and in Juan Tabo and Candelaria. MVD says in a press release that it has partnered with Intellectual Technology Inc. and hosts companies on kiosks, which allow customers “to print their vehicle registration and sticker in as little as two. minutes without going to an MVD office. English or Spanish voice prompts and instructions make the kiosk as easy to use as an ATM. There is a $ 3.95 fee in addition to the registration fee and a 2.3% credit card convenience fee associated with the transaction. However, MVD offers a 5% discount on the basic cost of registration on transactions made at kiosks.

Editorial page editor D’Val Westphal tackles commuter issues for the metro area on Monday. Contact her at 823-3858; [email protected]; or 7777 Jefferson NE, Albuquerque, NM, 87109.

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