Bosquecito Road to be rebuilt

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Socorro County Manager Delilah Walsh called it a Hail Mary pass that went for a touchdown.

Last November, Socorro County applied for a grant/loan for flood prevention and resolution with the state’s Water Trust Board to rebuild Bosquecito Road off U.S. 380. At the time, Walsh said getting the money through a long and arduous process that required the completion of a 150-page application was a long shot.

But last month, the Water Trust Board awarded the county $1,930,236.39 for the project, which will relieve flooding that occurs in the area when heavy rain strikes the eastern end of the county.

“I was so excited when I heard, I almost fell over,” said Walsh, who didn’t even attend the meeting announcing the award. “I didn’t want to drive all the way up to Santa Fe to find out we didn’t get it.”

Whenever torrential rains fall in the hills east of Bosquecito, arroyos quickly fill up and water rushes west toward the Rio Grande. If enough rain falls, it’ll take out the road, strand residents of the small community and damage their property.

Walsh said that problem could soon be solved, thanks to the unexpected funding.

“The reason it’s so important is that’s the only access road for a lot of people, school buses and emergency vehicles,” she said. “If anything happens to that road, people can’t go to work and kids can’t go to school.”

The county is required to pay a 40 percent match. At zero percent interest over 20 years, the county would end up paying about $772,094.

The county could also use in-kind contributions, such as labor and equipment, which amounts to $100,000 and was included in the application.

The project is considered shovel-ready, which made it easier for the funding to be approved. The Water Trust Board distributes funding approved by the Legislative for projects that fall into one of five categories: water conservation or reuse, flood prevention, Endangered Species Act, water storage, conveyance and delivery infrastructure improvements and watershed restoration and management.

“We’re going to install three low water crossings and elevate the road around the crossings to control the flow,” Walsh said. “The road will be rebuilt so the road won’t turn into a channel and flow into people’s yards.”

Phase I of the project is construction of the low-water crossings. The second phase is elevating and chip sealing a one-mile stretch of road encompassing the crossings. The third and final phase involves elevating and chip-sealing the remaining four-mile stretch of the road.

The entire project could take less than a year to complete, barring any delays.

 


-- Email the author at tslast@dchieftain.com.