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Gallup Council OKs state DOT deed

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Matter related to temporary construction permits

The Gallup City Council has approved a right-of-entry and deed for a New Mexico Department of Transportation project along Boardman Drive. The issue was brought before council members at the June 28 meeting and received a unanimous vote.

“We gave the [New Mexico Department of Transportation] some small bits of rights-of-way in front of the train station for some work they are to do,” City Attorney George Kozeliski explained to the panel. “They sent us three packets of items they needed from the city. Only the council can deed property. That’s why it was before the council.”

Kozeliski said the DOT requested the right to do roadwork on city property at Boardman Drive and Boyd Avenue. He called it a request for “the right to sort of trespass” on city-owned land in order to make improvements.

“Also a small bit of land was deeded to the state so they can put in signalization at the [proposed] intersection,” the city attorney said.

Initially, Kozeliski said the city was supposed to receive $1,200 for the small piece of land, but it deeded the property instead.

“This is normal for the state because they are usually dealing with private property owners and not governmental entities,” he said.

In a nutshell, Kozeliski said the project is a state DOT matter designed to slow traffic from the south side of Miyamura High School to N.M. 118. The state is converting the two-lane road to one lane in each direction, with a turning lane.

“The state has been working on this for many years,” Kozeliski said. “They are putting new signalization on Aztec and stop lights at Boyd, with a crosswalk for the children from Kennedy and Miyamura [schools] to cross the road at that intersection more safely.”

A Boardman Drive business owner said the changes were “unnecessary.”

Ron Berg, a chiropractor with a business near the intersection of Aztec Avenue and Boardman Drive, believes making Boardman one lane isn’t a good idea.

“I don’t see where you’re going to make things safer along Boardman with this idea,” he said. “I think if the traffic lights were resynchronized you’d see a big difference.”

Berg, whose business has been on Boardman for around 30 years, said that taking away one lane will no doubt back traffic up, north to south.

“I think if you improve the timing of the traffic signals, then you really solve the problem,” he said.

By Bernie Dotson
Sun Correspondent