The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Roosevelt to close road for public safety


January 17, 2018

PORTALES — After almost two years of discussion, Roosevelt County Commissioners last week voted unanimously to close a half-mile stretch of road out of concerns for public safety.

In coming weeks the road department will begin work on the multi-phase closure of South Roosevelt Road Q 1/2 between 18th Street and South Roosevelt Road 7, according to a news release from County Manager Amber Hamilton.

"I feel this road closure request has been considered and researched through a very long and thoughtful process," she said in the release. "We've sought out public input, worked to consider the area residents and city's needs and desires; all while staying focused on the primary goal of improving the safety of this roadway. This closure was discussed in some form in at least 17 meetings since the summer of 2016."

District III Commissioner Shane Lee said Friday he was initially opposed to the closure but came to support it after speaking to nearby residents, exploring possible solutions and considering the public hazard, especially to youth and out-of-towners.

"We have looked at multiple, multiple resources trying to figure out how to fix this problem," he said. "This wasn't a rash decision; this was a process that we've taken, trying to find every answer."

The main peril on the section of road was a deep dip from an old drainage ditch that occasioned numerous accidents and calls for service from the fire department and paramedics, Lee said. Rumble strips didn't work and neither would a stop sign, he said. Nor could the road be widened or the ditch simply filled in because the city still needs it for drainage.

Fortunately there are "plenty of alternate routes" and nobody living directly on the stretch of road, he said.

"The only person that's really going to be out is (a nearby resident) and the city (which access a sewer point there), and they were all for the closure," he said. "We've got a lot of people with GPS now that take roads that they don't know how dangerous they are. ... And how many young kids do you know that get their license and they go out there to find a road, and say let's go and do this ditch fast? I'm sorry if you have to drive an eighth or a quarter mile around to go to your house, but it may keep somebody from having to go to a funeral home."

Phase one of the road closure will include signage, light-up stop signs, minor construction and barrier installation, the release said.

Information: 575-356-5942


Reader Comments


How about a three foot pipe across the road for drainage then simply cover it with dirt or whatever???


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