A (Draft) 'Record of Agreement' (April 24, 2002) --See update: New as of Dec. 2003: Proposed dimensions--
This draft agreement (from 4-24-02, below) was prepared by members of the Turquoise Trail (NM 14) Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) and sent to the NM State Highway & Transportation Department (NMSHTD), now renamed "Department of Transportation". Back in April 2002, the Department's project manager of the period, Ted Garcia, responded that they will review the draft agreement and provide the CAC with comments / suggestions "if any" and the CAC and the Department will then finalize the agreement.
--1st phase, Madrid to Cerrillos in the Spring--March/April, of 2004. We do not know what time-frame to expect with real certainty.
--The 2nd phase, Cerrillos to Lone Butte has been proposed via DOT for 2006. These dates could change depending upon the availability of funding, perceived priority and current political climate.
--RL, member of CAC
~ NM 14 CAC / NMSHTD (Draft) 'Record of Agreement' (April 24, 2002)
April 24, 2002
Directed to: Ted Garcia (Project Development Engineer; project manager)
New Mexico State Highway and Transportation Department
NMSHTD, NM 14 CAC, and PB have invested many hours together in revising the design for NM 14 to meet both community and engineering expectations. We feel it is in everyone's best interest at this time to record the outcome of our work now, so that when the project is re-started, these agreements can be carried forward without confusion or repeated work.
CAC requests that an agreement be formally recorded, referencing the most current set of plans, and clarifying: 1) what CAC and NMSHTD have agreed to so far, 2) where agreement is still being sought at this time, 3) any items agreed to but not reflected in the current drawings.
CAC and NMSHTD agree on the following items:
* Lane width will be predominately 11 feet except at designated curves between Madrid and Cerrillos where 12 foot lanes will be striped at 11 feet, leaving a combined 2 feet of space between the driving lanes in the center of the curves.
* Shoulders will be 4 feet and of an earthen color, and the earthen color will be retained during any maintenance procedures. Topsoil will be stockpiled and the base course portion of tapers will be duffed with topsoil throughout the project. Where insufficient topsoil is available for stockpiling all areas, taper areas will be duffed first, with any remaining topsoil spread on areas marked for re-seeding.
* The default taper width will be 6'. The bottom 2-1/2" lift of PMBP will end in a vertical plane 1.25' beyond the shoulder; the top 2-1/2" lift of PMBP will feather from full thickness at the edge of the shoulder to 0 at 1.25' beyond the shoulder. The visible asphalt in the taper will receive the same earthen-colored coating as the shoulder. The remainder of the taper will be comprised of base course, covered with duffing. The duffing will extend to the intersection of the asphalt and base course 1.25' beyond the shoulder.
* The guardrail structure will consist of weathering-steel (CorTen or the equivalent) posts and guardrail, positioned so that the guardrail face is 4' from the driving lane.
* There will be no penalties tied to specific types of damage to existing features by the Department's selected contractor, but general liquidated damages and work-stoppage procedures will be invoked by the Project Manager as required to prevent damage to existing features marked for protection. Sites Southwest will play a supporting role in the environmental oversight process. The Department will send the CAC draft language concerning these two issues for review.
* RIPRAP: Both the CAC and the Department would prefer erosion control blanket or cellular-containment fabric instead of riprap, wherever slopes are not too steep; the design team agreed to attempt this substitution. The team agreed to develop details for planting above and into any large gabions, and if possible to use these details also for the gabions on private land near Rogersville Road. Where riprap is used, its color will be matched to surrounding rock or soil type as best as reasonably possible. The CAC agrees to gabion work to commence near Rogersville Road in the Spring of 2002, but requests that planting be included on this work.
* Sites Southwest will coordinate revegetation plan and oversight before and during construction.
* In those areas where the AASHTO Roadside Design Guide guidelines for clear zone are to be applied (Design Speed in excess of 40 mph and no concentrations of trees creating a restricted environment), the minimum clear zone for each condition listed in the AASHTO table will be used. For example, at a 45 mph design speed opposite a 3:1 cut slope, the minimum 12 foot clear zone value would be used, not the maximum 14 foot value.
* The Department will use the design flexibility allowed for restricted environments in establishing the clear zone in areas where trees are continuous. The use of signage and guardrails is an alternative to removal of significant trees and outcroppings. This is an alternative for consideration recognized by FHWA publications for rural collectors and scenic roads. CAC representatives will be invited to pre-construction conferences and invited on site with Design Team representatives and contractors during the flagging of the limits of the roadway construction. Decisions will be made in full collaboration with the CAC on site.
* The CAC believes that the Department has agreed to additional pull-outs along highway 14 in excess of the three shown on the November 30, 2001 PS&E plan sets. If the CAC is correct, the Department will show the additional pull-outs on a plan set to be provided to the CAC, or will describe their locations in the final version of this agreement.
* NM 14 is functionally classified as a major rural collector road, not an arterial.
CAC seeks agreement with the NMSHTD on the following (CAC positions):
* The CAC suggests that site-specific study of drainages and location-by-location analysis of the road are essential for developing context sensitive treatment of the roadside including tapers and guardrails.
* the CAC is committed to the development of roadside erosion control plans for areas of guardrail that rely on vegetative treatment rather than asphalt. We agree to continued discussion on the treatment of the area behind guardrails, acknowledging the commitment of District 5 PE's to work with Landscape Architects and the CAC to try to resolve this issue. As of the March 14th meeting, we note that the Department was committed to not exceeding 1 foot of asphalt behind the slope face of the posts. However, again, the CAC believes that vegetative erosion control techniques can further reduce asphalt around the posts. It was agreed that the use of asphalt was an esthetic decision, not a structural one, & the CAC believes that vegetative solutions are more fitting for this scenic byway. [To: examples of what we do NOT want] -- [To: consultant, Donal Simpson, on the inappropriate method of guardrail installation.]
* CAC suggests that Phase Two of the project might be re-considered as a 3-R project, reflecting both funding constraints and community preferences.
* The CAC suggests that both sides agree that no issue will be re-opened unless there are compelling reasons to do so, supported by factual evidence.
* The CAC suggests that the Department commit to providing timely notice to the CAC when either phase of the project is selected for funding under the STIP, and when the bid package for either phase of the project is being prepared. We've come a long way together; it would be good to start again as well as we have stopped.
Members of the Citizens Advisory Committee:
Contact CAC Members
To: The Turquoise Trail Page To Group's Actions To Resources for Saving America's Rural Roads and Communities--a listing.