The City of Carlsbad and New Mexico Department of Transportation reached a compromise more than a week after the department announced road repair would close the westbound lanes of the Greene Street bridge.
Removal of a median meant traffic would be able to travel east and west as the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) began modifications on the street Wednesday in anticipation of restoring two-way traffic to the southern portion of the bridge, read a City of Carlsbad news release.
NMDOT closed the northern lanes of the bridge Aug. 8 due to deterioration, and traffic was diverted to New Mexico 200 through the George Shoup Relief Route to north Carlsbad. The southern lanes of the bridge remained open for eastbound traffic.
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“Our top priority since this closure took place has been to advocate for using the southern portion of the Bataan Memorial Bridge for eastbound and westbound traffic. We believe the necessary modifications are being made and that this improvement is imminent,” said Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway.
NMDOT estimated it would take two-days to remove the median and create single-lanes for traffic.
Turning from Greene Street to Park Drive would be blocked until Thursday for median removal.
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The City said it worked with both NMDOT and Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) LLC to modify the bridge for both east and westbound traffic while construction continues on the north side, per the City news release.
“We anticipate then seeing two lane traffic on this critical route opened up in the very immediate future,” Janway said.
NMDOT estimated work on the nearly 100-year-old bridge would last for six months as pier caps would be repaired along with bearing replacements and concrete repairs.
Mike Smith can be reached at 575-628-5546 or by email at [email protected] or @ArgusMichae on Twitter.