Mayor Keller, officials highlight construction projects

Coronavirus New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Mayor Tim Keller and city officials held a press conference on Wednesday to discuss the local response to COVID-19 as well as construction in Albuquerque.

The PNM Good Neighbor Fund is paying up to $150 toward PNM electric bills for low income familes through April 30. Call 505-967-8045 for assistance.

As of Tuesday, TriCore Reference Laboratories has provided results for over 10,000 COVID-19 tests. TriCore is now running four different testing platforms for the virus, providing more efficient services.

Medic Buddy Mobile Health and Duke City Urgent Care are now offering same day house visits as well as telemedicine. Call and schedule an appointment up to 48-hours in advance. These services are for general health services only, not for COVID-19.

Mayor Keller strongly urges families to shop alone to decrease the risk of spreading COVID-19.

UNMH is now performing its first clinical trials for COVID-19.

As the governor announced on Tuesday, the state will be loosening the COVID-19 testing criteria in an effort to get more people tested. If you are asymptomatic but are in close contact with people who have tested positive for the virus or work in a nursing home, or facility where other testing has taken place, you are encouraged to get tested

Optum is now offering video and telephone visits. Optum has three locations at the Journal Center, Tramway and Rio Rancho.

Wednesday is Census Day and the state is hosting a virtual fiesta encouraging New Mexico residents to participate without leaving home.

All city buildings will now be implementing COVID-19 screenings starting Wednesday. This includes several questions and getting your temperature checked using a touchless thermometer. At this time, there are no additional changes to the status of city services.

The construction industry is deemed an essential service and due to the nature of the work, many health protocols are already in place. Related industries such as engineering, legal work, and architecture are positioned for telework and many firms already have it in place.

Mayor Keller explained that the public should anticipate a lot of road construction as there are fewer vehicles on the road due to the stay-at-home order. The city will proceed with groundbreaking at the International District Library which is a $14 million project.

Construction on the Marble Arno Pump Station will also take place which is a $17 million project that includes a new retention pond to replace the one located at Lomas and Broadway. Road work will also take place on 12th Street and Menaul costing $4.5 million.

Crews will try to finish construction work on Rio Grande and the city is also looking at improvements and cleanup on 4th Street should COVID-19 restrictions remain in place.

The director of the Department of Municipal Development, Pat Montoya explained that in the next three to four months, the city will put forth a total of around $70 million in projects including road projects and renovation. Now that the Albuquerque Rapid Transit buses aren’t running, the city will be making inprovements on its route.

One of the improvements they are looking at are pin curbs. Work was just completed from New York to Rio Grande and from Yucca to 53rd Street. On Monday, crews began work from Washington to San Pedro and a Hawk Signal is expected to go somewhere in Nob Hill. All of these improvements range around $3 million.

The Railyards and utilities streetscape is in the early design stages. The city is looking to make improvements 1st Street between Gold and Hazeldine. The area will receive lighting, benches and a walkway.

The street rehab project has already been started and includes work on Rio Grande and across the city will cost $23 million. Crews will begin work on 4th Street in early May.

Construction on the Central Ave. underpass will include cosmetic improvements as well as safety work around the area and will begin soon.

A crosswalk task force has been formed and about $1.5 million will be used to make improvements to all school crossings throughout the city. As part of this, crews will also be striping streets. The city strives to complete this by mid-August.

A location has been designated for the Portland Loo that has been fully designed. However at this time the city is waiting on parts to complete the project.

Several medians throughout the city have been fully designed and construction is anticipated in mid-June. The project includes medians along west Central from Unser to 110th Street and Wyoming to Tramway.

Roofs at the Railyards will cost around $2.5 million. They have already been designed and the project will begin soon.

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