Anyone who had driven US 84/285 between Santa Fe and Pojoaque knew that the highway had become increasingly busy in recent years. US 84/285 is the major route connecting Santa Fe to northern New Mexico and southern Colorado. Popular local attractions, such as the Santa Fe Opera, the Cities of Gold and Camel Rock casinos, and the Santa Fe Flea Market are located on the corridor. About 40,000 vehicles travel US 84/285 between Santa Fe and Pojoaque everyday, and that number is expected to grow in the future.
Constructing the project
Construction of two new south bound lanes and rehabilitation of the existing north bound lanes consolidated and improved the highway entrances, resulting in safer access to the highway for local residents and businesses. Slip formed concrete barrier wall was constructed to divide the north and south bound lanes throughout the 5.5 miles of the project. The original south bound lanes were given a face-lift with a new overlay and will be utilized as a frontage road. Over 56,000 square yards of detour pavement were placed in order to maintain the four lanes of traffic that were mandated during peak commute times. Also included in the project were four bridges, three of which are interchanges, placement of over 6,000 feet of culverts and 100 median and curb inlets to take care of drainage.
Benefits for the community
This segment of US 84/285 is located entirely within the Pueblo of Tesuque. Skanska, NMDOT, and a Pueblo of Tesuque artists collaborated to decorate the project’s bridge with traditional Native American themed artwork