THE city of Alamosa is getting ready to begin reconstruction of State Avenue from Sixth Street south, with construction lasting from March through the fall. The project is similar to work the city and utility and communication providers did in tearing down and building back First Street over the previous three years, and it’s work the historic southside of Alamosa has never before seen.

The difference to the First Street project – and this is where it gets hairy for Alamosa Public Works Director Harry Reynolds – is the city wants to complete all three phases of the State Avenue reconstruction in 2022 to take advantage of better-than-anticipated collections from the city’s dedicated half-cent sales tax Street Trust Fund.

Reynolds was a guest on Alamosa Citizen’s podcast The Valley Pod, where he talked in detail and at length about the State Avenue reconstruction. He also addressed Main Street work in the episode. You can listen to the podcast here.

“We’re building what we’re hoping is infrastructure that will last 40 to 50 years, not needing rebuild,” said Reynolds. Prior to rebuilding the road, city crews, Xcel Energy crews and other contractors will get in their work.

“While we’re there, any water, sanitary lines, storm lines, Xcel gas lines, communication lines, anything that’s in the way, we’re having them rebuild and relocate so we’re not getting into the road later. Our goal is to really build sound infrastructure without having to come in and disturb it at a later time,” Reynolds said.

The city wants commercial vehicles to use Highway 285 south as an access point to the southside of Alamosa. Residents will find their alternative routes along Ross and La Due avenues.

Phase one of the project takes construction from Sixth Street through the Eighth Street intersection, and phase two picks up south of Eighth Street, with the intention of going through 13th. But if there are construction delays, or weather, or if the half-cent sales tax collections aren’t as robust this year as the city anticipates, the work will stop at Eleventh Street and pick back up in 2023.

“It’s going to impact people for a long time,” Reynolds said.

In addition to a complete road rebuild, and replacement and relocation of utilities, the city will widen sidewalks on State Avenue to five feet. That should be a welcome improvement to a side of Alamosa that walks and puts in a lot of bicycle miles.

Listen to Reynolds explain the project on The Valley Pod.