One Roundabout Included in Council’s N.M. 502 Vote

Engineering Manager Kyle Zimmerman during a previous presentation. Photo by Carol A. Clark

More than one resident and councilor speaking during public comment at Tuesday night’s county council meeting praised County Engineering Manager Kyle Zimmerman for devising a “win-win” option on the emotionally charged N.M. 502 corridor project between DP Road and Airport Road.

County council voted 6-1 to approve Option 1 for the N.M. 502 design option project. Councilor Vincent Chiravalle cast the sole no vote.

“Kyle Zimmerman really saved the day with his Option 1 compromise solution,” County Councilor Fran Berting said.

Zimmerman brings more than 20 years experience to his work at the county and found the way to blend the best of the five possible options, which could have increased the roadway to five lanes and nine roundabouts.

Zimmerman’s option is comprised of one roundabout at 4th Street and Central Avenue and a single lane road in each direction with widened medians at the intersections of Airport Road and Tewa Loop that are designed for a travel speed of 35 miles per hour.

Option 1 also includes a center median for landscaping west of Tewa Loop with left turn bays and pedestrian refuge. Up to two hybrid pedestrian beacons will be installed between the Tewa Loop and Canyon Road intersections. The Canyon Road intersections will be reconfigured to increase deflection to reduce vehicle speeds.

Between Canyon Road and Central Avenue or where determined necessary by the New Mexico Department of Transportation, two east bound lanes from Central Avenue will merge to one east bound lane. The center medium will continue along with one west bound lane. The Central Avenue and 4th Street intersections with NM 502 will combine into one intersection controlled by a roundabout.

West of Central Avenue and 4th Street, NM 502 will have two east bound lanes, a center medium and one west bound lane.

The DP Road intersection will be reconfigured using existing right-of-way to be more of a 90-degree intersection with NM 502. West of the DP Road intersection, NM 502 will connect to the existing road section of two lanes east bound, a center medium and two lanes west bound.

Sidewalks will be included on both sides of N.M. 502 from Tewa Loop to DP Road.

This option is to be modified to incorporate bicycle lanes or bicycle paths where physically viable and cost effectively feasible to do so in the opinion of NMDOT and Los Alamos County.

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