Proposal aims to close road for base benefit
June 26, 2009
Closing Curry Road R for the benefit of Cannon Air Force Base is meeting little resistance.
But where the traffic will be diverted appears to be the heart of residents’ concerns.
A proposal put before the Curry County Commission on Tuesday sought to close the road hugging Cannon’s west perimeter. Reasons cited by base command include security, safety and quality of life.
The proposal designated Curry Road T as an alternate route. Cost estimates for paving the dirt road by chipsealing are about $2 million, money which would be sought from state, federal or other available grants.
Commissioners voted 4-1 — Chairman Frank Blackburn cast the dissenting vote — to hold a public hearing on the proposal during an Aug. 18 commission meeting and start seeking money for the project.
Blackburn said he wants a study to look at the issue in more depth.
Blackburn lives north of the base. He said approximately 300 vehicles a day travel Curry Road R to get from N.M. 467 to U.S. 60/84 and vice versa.
Blackburn said he supports constituents’ concerns about the increased traffic the change would bring to Curry Road T.
Blackburn pointed out Curry Road S has only one resident. He said it doesn’t make sense to reroute traffic all the way to Curry Road T when Curry Road S is also viable.
Becky Lewis said she lives 1 1/2 miles from Cannon on land her husband’s family homesteaded.
“We’re 100 percent for you guys. We know that (Curry) Road R is going to close probably and we know it’s in the best interests of everybody,” she said.
However, Lewis said five of her family members have homes off of Curry Road T and the increased traffic may impact their quality of life.
“I am for closing the road for safety, I am just concerned for the people on T,” she said, leaving the podium in tears.
Doug Reid, who lives