Talon News - Good Local News

Dear TALON - Bypass


January 25, 2019


Regarding the City of Aztec’s more than 20 years old bypass proposal. This project should have died 20 years ago.

The next phase, to cost more than 11 million dollars (some say as much as 18), passes through very rough terrain of hillsides, gullies, and arroyos crisscrossed with pipelines and well sites. Much of it crosses BLM land. It goes through the old Aztec city dump where environmental problems exist. The large paved surface and rerouting of the drainages will exacerbate the the flooding potential of Blanco Arroyo. All, so that access can be supplied at taxpayer expense to especially a large private property owner who also has property on the North Main Extension.

This section of road climbs in elevation a long distance and then will drop down to Tiger Park athletic fields. Trucks barreling down this slope and going right next to the fields offer an opportunity to wipe out car loads of kids pulling into their way—or maybe an athletic bus or two. The new bypass then will end at the dangerous dam road that has no funding or plans for upgrade. This narrow, curvy, hilly road then goes through the water reservoirs and treatment plant area ending up at highway 550 where the newer dollar store was built.

A little history of this location. There used to exist at this location a large concrete block building (a garage and filling station) with, as I remember large bay doors on its south side. The first truck to lose control coming down this hill from the water plant plowed into and destroyed Harold’s Service. The building was replaced with an up scale steak house and restaurant. It too met its fate with another truck running across the 4 lane intersection and destroying the structure. Next came a smaller taxidermy shop and you guessed it, destroyed with an out of control truck. A Kansas family with three kids in their back seat had their trunk smashed flat by another truck. Luckily the kids and family were not hurt. The car did not fare as well.

This bypass is a bypass although the City refuses to call it by that name. LOOK at the design on the finished south end across from the hotel. There is no way that numerous tractor trailers can safely navigate that messed up entrance/exit of the bypass. What plans are being made on the north end to allow numerous large trucks to enter/exit Navajo dam road (bypass)? Nothing at this point. Traffic lights will have to be installed at both intersections. When I was a commissioner the state said three people had to be killed for them to pay for traffic lights. We wanted a light by the Post Office. The city could pay for, install, and maintain it if warranted. Lights usually ran over a million dollars at that point in time.

Why a bypass? Especially since the city cannot force trucks to use the bypass. Why purposely climb a hill when it is flat to go through Aztec? Why would oil field trucks going up La Plata or Ruins Road go miles out of their way and have to travel a longer distance through town on Aztec Boulevard to get to their turn point?

The bypass creates way more problems and expense than it solves. It is not going to save our pitiful 4 block long business district on Main Avenue.

Jack Scott, Aztec


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