Unexpected road closure lasts weeks, frustrating Roswell residents

New Mexico News

Some residents in Roswell are fed up because there doesn’t seem to be any end in sight to a road construction project.

Part of a street has been closed for more than two months, due to a waterline break. Now, it has become a safety concern.

“It’s very difficult to start a new business when you’re hindered this way,โ€ said Nathaniel Mascarenas.

Nathaniel Mascarenes just opened his hydroponic grow shop on West McGaffey Street in December, but is facing an unforeseen challenge: road construction.

“We don’t have the traffic that goes by to get the people coming in, everything is shut down. It’s blocked off,โ€ said Mascarenas.

The road is a main artery to the west side of Roswell, and is a relief route for truck drivers. But when a 36-inch waterline outside Mascarenas’ store burst in early November, it shut down a part of the street.

Still, he says that hasn’t stopped people from using it.

“They get out and move the barriers. It’s as if they’re not there,โ€ said Mascarenas. “I’ve seen an ambulance. I’ve seen the mailman. I’ve seen the police officers themselves. Every day, pedestrians, everybody does it.”

Safety is another concern, as he says he’s seen kids playing in the street with a giant hole still there. 

“I’ve been told by several project managers they would be done in two to three weeks or the next two to three weeks, and it just keeps getting put off,โ€ said Mascarenas.

The city says the road was scheduled to re-open before Christmas, but the repairs to the half-century-old pipes didn’t take.

They say the hold up was waiting for specific parts.

“The materials are here. We actually went back to work yesterday excavating, and we’ll be installing the fix on McGaffey today and tomorrow, so we’re on our way,โ€ said Director of Engineering Louis Najar.

“I’m glad they’re out here doing it, and I’m glad that no one’s got hurt so far,โ€ said Mascarenas.

Najar says they hope to have it open and ready to drive on by next Friday.

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