Photo courtesy of Eastern NM News
The Prince Street overpass in Clovis will soon be finished after months of being under construction, according to New Mexico Department of Transportation officials.
The Clovis overpass has been closed since August for the construction, with locals driving around the overpass to Hull or Norris streets to get in and out of Clovis. It was scheduled to be finished this summer, but DOT officials are ahead of schedule with the project, which is now anticipated to be complete within the next two weeks.
Officials said the roadway needs to be striped and a final inspection needs to take place.
NMDOT Public Information Officer Manon Arnett said the purpose of the construction of the overpass was to ensure its structural integrity.
“The bridge was built in 1989 and was in need of repair work to support the roadway above,” said Arnett.
Improvements included replacement of the concrete approach slabs, sidewalk repair, a raised median, a metal pedestrian railing, wall barriers, repaired concrete, replaced abutments, a chain link fence, new lighting, an application of new protective coating, epoxy coating of the concrete bridge deck, replacement of bridge pavement, and other miscellaneous work.
Having the additional time added onto their commute when having to drive around Clovis to go into town has been no easy feat for Portales residents.
Phillip Wright, an Eastern New Mexico University student, said the detour from the overpass has been troublesome for him at times.
“I travel almost every day, and sometimes, twice a day, to Clovis. The construction on the overpass has been extremely inconvenient,” said Wright. “I know it will be really nice when they’re done, but they’ve just started doing construction on all of the alternative routes as well, so things have just been crazy.”
Heather Allen, a Portales resident who works in Clovis, said the travel back and forth from work has been a hassle since the closure of the overpass.
“Sometimes, I even have to make the drive to Clovis twice, and it adds almost 40 minutes to my travel for the day,” said Allen. “When the Prince Street bridge opens, a lot of people’s lives and travel will be a lot simpler and faster.”
The next big road project will be NMDOT investing $4.5 million to improve the entrance into Cannon Air Force Base’s Melrose Training Range. The construction will include the addition of a left turn bay for westbound traffic on U.S. 60/84. An acceleration lane will also be added for the northbound Roosevelt Road. There will be intermittent single-lane closures throughout the construction.