Since the equipment being used to re-pave Corrales Road is prone to break-downs, according to company representatives, Cutler Repaving has a mechanic and electrician on the job site. As of June 14, progress was lagging due to an equipment problem the previous week, leading some villagers to doubt that the entire length of State Highway 448 through Corrales would be paved sooner than 25 days from the June 8 start date. But then, announced timelines have seemed a little squishy from the start. As the re-paving began, Cutler employees distributed door-hanger notices to properties along Corrales Road seeking cooperation as the machinery was expected to roll past specific locations. But the notice slipped into Corrales Comment’s roadside mailbox (without postage paid) said “On June 6-13 we will be making street improvements in front of your home. No parking will be allowed on the street between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. as well as restricted traffic during the work operations.”
In fact, the paving vehicles were nowhere near that location as of June 14. The notice also was curiously out-of-synch with the Corrales situation by informing that the “curbline milling process will reduce the elevation of the old pavement to line it up with the gutter.” Was the highway department, or the Village of Corrales, supposed to have installed a gutter at some time over the past 70 years? The notice further explained that “the repaving process uses heat to soften the old pavement. Occasionally shrubs and brushes near the curb are subject to damage. Please help us protect these by making a garden hose available to wet down the bushes or shrubs.”
Despite the inappropriate boiler-plate language in the door-hanger notice, the Kansas-based company contracted to re-pave Corrales Road was true to its word about wait times for backed-up traffic. It had promised drivers would not have to wait in the queue more than 15 minutes to fall in behind the pilot car. Occasionally as many as 40 vehicles were waiting to move through the construction zone, but generally tempers remained in check. Cutler’s method, at least initially, was to pave one lane for a mile and then go back to do the other half of the roadway, so that, after a two-day period, both lanes would be re-paved for a mile.
Written into the contract was a dictum that Corrales Road is to be fully re-opened by 5 p.m. Work begins by 9 a.m. The work plan calls for the signs and traffic cones to be placed starting around 8 a.m. Usually in the past, when traffic was disrupted along Corrales Road drivers made their own decisions to detour onto the ditch banks, specifically either the Corrales Acequia west of Corrales Road or along the Corrales Interior Drain on the west. But those options seem to have been chosen less often this time. In the olden days, clouds of dust would billow up and hang in the still air as impatient drivers raced off in a huff along the ditch roads to get to work, or to appointments, or just to exercise an excuse for a huff.