Street smoothing complete

CNJ Staff Photo: Andy DeLisle
Construction crews worked in the night on North Prince Street as part of a two-month project to refurbish the heavily traveled thoroughfare. Crews are expected to start a painting project Tuesday.

By Tonya Fennell: CNJ Staff Writer

Betty Johnson may be 73 years old, but she considers herself completely self-sufficient.

The Clovis widow said she enjoys driving her compact car on her daily errands. She shops for her groceries, keeps weekly appointments with her hairdresser, and visits the pharmacy often to pick up numerous prescriptions.

“I take more pills than Carter,” Johnson said, with a shake of her perfectly coifed curls.

But recently the vivacious senior citizen’s travels were curtailed when construction on North Prince Street reduced traffic to one lane in each direction during a repaving project.

“Boy, it (North Prince Street) was a mess,” Johnson said. “I had to send my granddaughter after my prescriptions because my nerves couldn’t handle it.”

However, on Friday morning, the petite bundle of energy was once again behind the wheel.

“I’d heard they (construction crews) had finished the road,” Johnson said. “So, I can go about my business again.”

The North Prince resurfacing project from Commerce Way to Llano Estacado Boulevard was completed a week ago today, according to New Mexico Department of Transportation project manager Raymond Reeves.

More than a mile of smooth black asphalt was laid on North Prince Street over five days.

The new surface is part of a two-month project to refurbish the highly traveled Clovis thoroughfare.

Reeves said the next phase of the project will start Tuesday when crews begin striping the street. He said the painting project is expected to take two days to complete and workers will be present from 9 p.m. until 7 a.m.

“We are starting later to avoid mass congestion,” Reeves said.

Before the resurfacing project was begun, the city of Clovis laid 1,400 feet of drainage pipe from the corner of 21st Street to Ace Triangle Hardware. The underground drainage project was needed to alleviate water pooling along the street after rains.

The $382,890 project was funded through gross receipts tax rebates.

Clovis Public Works Director Harry Wang said recent rainfall has proved the drainage project was a success.

“It is going to save a lot of headaches,” he said.