City to Hold Informational Meeting for West Alameda Culvert Replacement Project | City of Santa Fe

City to Hold Informational Meeting for West Alameda Culvert Replacement Project

25 May, 2023

SANTA FE, May 25, 2023 – The City of Santa Fe will hold a community meeting to present information regarding the West Alameda culvert collapse and reconstruction project from 7 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 30, 2023, at the Genoveva Chavez Community Center (GCCC) located at 3221 Rodeo Road. Refreshments will be provided, and RSVPs are requested to ensure sufficient seating or overflow seating if necessary.  

The meeting will include a presentation of the project and timeline from the Public Works Department and contractors. Attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions after the presentation. Questions will be limited to a single question per person.  

RSVP by clicking here no later than Monday, May 29, at 5 p.m. 

Additional information & FAQ

After final design approval, the construction contractor, procured using an on-call contract with the City, will develop the construction timeline and cost. The timeline is dependent on the final design, material lead times, and construction methods. The current rough estimate for reopening is August 2023. 

Does the City or County have jurisdiction for the road? 

  • The road became a City road when the City annexed the adjacent land to the south of West Alameda in 2013. As part of an MOU with the County regarding roadways impacted by the annexation, the need for improvements to West Alameda drainage and roadway were identified. 
  • The City has carried a project on the capital plan to reconstruct West Alameda roadway and drainage for at least three years, and in preparation for that project, completed the West Alameda Drainage Study in 2021. That study has been utilized in the design of the repairs needed to fix the collapsed section of the roadway. 

Why did the culvert on West Alameda fail?

  • The culvert appeared to have failed because there was no outfall structure and no downstream armoring of the channel. Because of this, water leaving the culvert could undercut the structure, which over the years caused erosion which led to the collapse. When Santa Fe County owned the road, they performed a road widening project during which they extended the culvert but did not install an outflow structure and downstream armoring.  

When did it collapse, and what was done? Why couldn’t it be repaired, even temporarily? 

  • On Thursday, March 30, at approximately 5:30 am, the Public Works Streets Maintenance Crew discovered that a box culvert near 2530 West Alameda had failed, and half of the eastbound lane of the road had caved in. The road was immediately closed to through traffic. Over the course of the morning, both of the 60” concrete culverts failed, and sections fell into the arroyo, causing further structural failure of the roadway above. The damage was extensive enough that repair was not possible, and a new box culvert would need to be designed and constructed.  
  • To stabilize the site and leave it in a safe condition, the Public Works Department employed GM Emulsion, the on-call construction contractor, to remove the broken pavement, excavate the box culvert and prepare the site for construction of the replacement project. However, no further work can proceed at the site until a design for the replacement culvert and surrounding structure has been completed and approved, a purchase order for the construction has been issued, and construction materials have been secured. 

What is happening now? 

  • WSP bridge engineer Ray Trujillo, PE, was issued a purchase order to design the replacement culvert. Mr. Trujillo worked on the City’s West Alameda Drainage Study completed in 2021 and is familiar with the box culvert. The project team has reviewed and approved the 75% design in order to move forward with the next steps in purchasing materials and beginning construction.
  • The on-call contractor, GM Emulsion, has been using preliminary design documents to begin developing the construction cost and schedule estimates. Other actions being taken to expedite reopening include coordinating with utilities that may need to be relocated and utilizing standard rebar instead of custom rebar in the design, which will reduce material lead times. GM Emulsion has committed to beginning the work as soon as possible and working long days, and possibly employing multiple crews at a time to accelerate the construction timeline.  

What will this cost and how will it be funded?

  • The purchase order for design was issued for $90K. Estimates of the cost and schedule to construct the replacement culvert are expected to be available by the end of May. Staff will bring a budget adjustment request to the Governing Body to fund the construction and issue a purchase order for construction. Since this project combines roadway and stormwater infrastructure improvements, the Stormwater Fund, funded by the stormwater fee on utility customers’ bills, will pay for a portion, and it is expected that the construction will be funded by 0.25% GRT dedicated to infrastructure operations and improvements. 
  • The culvert replacement project will reconstruct the area of the site to meet the future needs of the improved roadway to be built during the larger West Alameda Capital Improvement Project, which will include bike lanes and a sidewalk. It will not need to be redone when the larger project is undertaken.  

When will the roadway reopen? 

  • The project team is roughly estimating opening in August, but until the construction schedule and materials lead time are confirmed, this is a tentative date.