Las Huertas Creek crossing waits for repair
since the summer monsoon floods washed out its culverts.
Las Huertas crossing still washed out
Plans are in place to get started with construction on Camino
de Las Huertas at the Las Huertas Creek crossing the second
week in February, according to Chris Miller, Sandoval County
assistant director of public work. It has been seven months
since the Fourth of July storm that washed out the bridge.
Now residents wonder what is going to be done to fix the crossing
and whether it will be done before the spring runoff.
“I think it’s absolutely ridiculous. I can’t
believe it’s been open so long,” said Mike Davis,
who lives north of the crossing. The flooding has adversely
affected both residents and people working north of Las Huertas
County workers replaced the culverts and covered them with
dirt, resulting in a makeshift road that was not much different
from the original. The crossing washed out twice more in July,
then again in August. Downstream, private property was damaged
and pipelines were exposed in flooding that residents say
was exacerbated by the catastrophic failure of the road crossing.
Finally, in desperation, Sandoval County put up detour signs
and bladed a single-lane road through the creek. The creek-bottom
crossing was supposed to be a temporary fix, according to
road workers at the site.
Many places in New Mexico flooded during the storms, and
workers were exhausted trying to clean it all up.There were
simply not enough resources to go around. Hatch, Laguna, Rio
Rancho, Albuquerque-Downtown, the South Valley, Corrales,
and pretty much the rest of New Mexico were suffering, and
Sandoval County was overwhelmed.
When asked why it has taken so long, Miller responded, “We
are waiting for design approval from the state. If it hadn’t
been for that, we would have been working on it a month and
a half ago. It poses difficult engineering problems to repair
the washout. For now, it can be expected to be fixed in February.”
It is unclear whether the February repair will be as described
in the county resolution on legislative priorities:
Funding is requested to design and rebuild Camino de las
Huertas where it crosses Las Huertas Creek, in the Placitas
area. Camino de Las Huertas is a major collector road and
school-bus route that serves as the only direct road for a
large number of residents in the rapidly growing area. The
road crossing at Las Huertas Creek currently experiences washouts
that make the road impassable during heavy rainfall in the
Sandia Mountain watershed. High water flow in the creek during
summer 2006 caused the road at the Las Huertas Creek to wash
out on four separate occasions, resulting in the road's complete
closure, until county crews could make repairs.
County spokesman and lobbyist Gayland Bryant said that the
crossing would be reinforced with concrete head walls, aprons,
and wing walls, and would include riprap structures upstream.
Director of public works Phil Rios said that even if funding
is secured at this year’s legislative session, funds
won’t be available until summer or fall. He said that
repair of the crossing has been delayed by the application
to FEMA for assistance and the subsequent involvement of the
state in the approval of the plan. Rios was confident that
culverts would be in place and the road completed before the
spring runoff. He said that once the work starts, it will
only take about a week to make the crossing as good or better
than it was before.
The concrete work will be added once funds are available.
Without the concrete reinforcement, the crossing is more vulnerable
to monsoon flooding, and washouts could happen again this
El Rinconcito español
• La memoria es como mal amigo; cuando más
falta te hace, te falta.
Memory is like a bad friend; when you need it most, it fails
• En casa del herrero, cuchillo de palo.
In the blacksmith's house, a wooden knife.
• El apetito entra por los ojos.
Appetite enters through the eyes.
Submitted by www.sospanyol.com,
Placitas—Spanish instruction that focuses on oral communication
Historic Casa San Ysidro offers docent training
Travel back in time at Casa San Ysidro. It’s a home
where the only heat came from a fireplace, the only air-conditioning
came through an open window, and oil lamps, candles, and starlight
illuminated the evening hours of nineteenth century New Mexico.
This partially reconstructed eighteenth-to-nineteenth-century
home in the village of Corrales is an important link to the
history of New Mexico. Inside the adobe walls you’ll
find Spanish Colonial furniture, authentic handwoven floor
coverings, hand-forged iron tools, and an authentic loom made
in the late 1700s.
The Albuquerque Museum acquired Casa San Ysidro from long-time
Corrales residents Alan and Shirley Minge. The couple started
their collection over fifty years ago, accumulating scarce
New Mexican artifacts that would have otherwise been lost
to time. The property originally belonged to the descendants
of Don Felipe Gutiérrez, recipient of the Bernalillo
Township Land Grant, in 1704. The Albuquerque Museum opened
Casa San Ysidro to the public in October of 1998. The historic
house is named for the patron saint of farming, San Ysidro
In keeping with the public education policy of the City
of Albuquerque and the Albuquerque Museum, Casa San Ysidro
offers tours to the general public and also to the public
schools of Bernalillo and Sandoval Counties. Volunteers trained
in New Mexico history and in Casa San Ysidro enlighten visitors
on how life would have been experienced by the early Hispanic
pioneers in what is now New Mexico. It was an arduous, exciting,
and often dangerous existence.
We at Casa invite you to come and share our love of this
wonderful home and its historic past. Our new docent-training
schedule starts on March 6. Robert Torrez, a former state
historian, will present the first four lectures. The following
eight lectures will be presented by the curator/site manager
of Casa. All training classes are held on Tuesdays from 10:00
to 12:00 noon and are free of charge to trainees.
For more information and to inquire about registering for
the classes, please call Ouida Anderson, tour coordinator,
Historical society to host “A Bridge
The Sandoval County Historical Society will meet on Sunday,
February 4, at 2:00 p.m. at Delavy House Museum. Mary Ellen
Gonzales, from the New Mexico Humanities Council, will speak
on “A Bridge Between Cultures.”
The program is free and open to the public, and refreshments
will be served. Delavy House Museum is off Highway 550, west
of Bernalillo, between Coronado State Monument and Santa Ana
Star Casino. For further information, contact Martha Liebert,
Rail Runner train starts service to Belen
New Mexico Rail Runner Express service will extend south
to Belen on February 2. The opening of this leg of service
completes the entire fifty-mile Phase One commuter line.
“The Rail Runner is on track and already becoming an
integral part of the daily commute for many New Mexicans,”
said Governor Bill Richardson. “Clean, fast mass-transportation
options are a key part of moving New Mexico forward.”
Commuters on the Belen-to-Albuquerque line will ride free
until April 1.
“With the addition of service to Belen, the Rail Runner
brings even more New Mexicans an extremely convenient form
of transportation,” said new Mexico Transportation secretary
Rhonda Faught. “The New Mexico Department of Transportation
is very proud to be the providers of a transportation system
that serves so many who live and work in the heart of the
Rio Grande valley,” adds Faught.
The extension of Rail Runner service to Belen means that
there will soon be a third train in the rotation of those
serving the Albuquerque-to-Belen corridor. Included in the
additional service will be a train that departs a little later
in the morning coming into Albuquerque, and one that leaves
Albuquerque going south a bit earlier in the afternoon. (See
the full accompanying train schedule).
“This extension represents much more than simply adding
Belen to regular Rail Runner service,” says Lawrence
Rael, executive director of the Mid-Region Council of Governments.
“With the addition of this southernmost rail connection,
commuters will also see a revised Rail Runner schedule which
includes a lot more service south of Albuquerque. This will
especially help serve those we call “reverse commuters”—people
traveling from Albuquerque to Los Lunas and Belen in the morning
and returning in the afternoon.”
The Belen Rail Runner station is at Reinken Avenue and Wisconsin
Street, on the east side of the railroad tracks. It is across
the tracks from the historical Harvey House Museum, an area
that brings passenger-rail service full circle to where it
all started back in 1901. Parking at the station is free,
and provides space for more than two hundred vehicles.
“The Belen area boasts a long history with train travel,”
says Belen mayor Ronnie Torres. “The people of Belen
have really gotten behind the Rail Runner. This is going to
bring a great transportation alternative to our city, as well
as provide us with a long-awaited economic boost,” adds
The New Mexico Rail Runner Express began serving commuters
between Albuquerque and Bernalillo July 14 last year. Four
stations—Bernalillo, the Los Ranchos/Journal Center,
the Downtown Albuquerque Station, and Los Lunas—have
been opened since then.
All station information, timetables, fares, and other information
concerning the New Mexico Rail Runner can be viewed at www.nmrailrunner.com.
For further information, call 245-RAIL.