Overpass committee to seek cost estimates

CNJ staff

City and county officials, Clovis Industrial Development Corp. leadership and concerned citizens met Monday to discuss the best way to approach an overpass project at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

It was the first meeting held locally since the subject of an MLK overpass was broached last month in Santa Fe.

“It was decided, at least in the interim, the (Clovis/Curry County) Chamber and CIDC would take the lead to holding the (future) meetings,” said Chase Gentry, executive director for the CIDC on Wednesday.

In the Santa Fe meeting, area officials agreed it would be prudent to go forward with constructing an overpass at state Highway 467 as originally planned since funding for that project was already procured.

However, residents living south of the tracks affected by long waits at railroad crossings asked officials to look into the feasibility of an MLK overpass.

Construction of a new overpass was part of an agreement between the city, county and Burlington Northern Santa Fe when the Wheaton Street railroad crossing was closed in May 2003 to facilitate the railroad expansion.

“There was an agreement that we would continue to have regular meetings to make sure the process was continued and wasn’t forgotten about,” said City Manager Joe Thomas.

Gentry said the committee formed to push the project forward will seek cost estimates for both an MLK and Brady Avenue overpass. In the event the MLK overpass is not feasible, Gentry said it would be a good idea to have a backup plan.

The next meeting is slated for April 14 at the Wells Fargo Bank.