BAYFIELD – Part of the Eight Corners intersection in Bayfield, where County Road 501 and Bayfield Parkway intersect, is undriveable as a result of water damage.
For years, the water seeping under the Bayfield Parkway just south of the Conoco gas station has been a nuisance, Town Manager Chris La May said. This year, it rose high enough to deteriorate sections of the asphalt, making those sections impassable. Bayfield Public Works planned to place steel plates on the road Friday as a short-term solution, while the town searches for the problematic water source.
“We want this fixed right away as soon as possible, but ... we need to be doing a correct job on all of this,” said Bayfield Mayor Matt Salka.
The town has contracted Trautner Geotech, an engineering service in Durango, for about $6,000 to drill test holes in the road later this month to identify the water source.
“We’re hoping that this gives us some indication, but groundwater is difficult to pinpoint at times,” La May said.
The seepage usually decreases in November and December, which indicates that it might be related to irrigation water and/or increased groundwater from spring runoff. If the test drilling suggests the water is coming from an irrigation ditch, the town would have to work with the ditch company to pipe or line the ditches, he said.
When Trautner Geotech identifies the water source, the town will send that data to Souder Miller and Associates, the town’s New Mexico-based engineering contractor, to identify a long-term solution.
“The fear is that it basically requires us to remove some portion of asphalt and subgrade,” La May said. It’s too soon for a cost estimate on a more permanent fix, but he said it would likely be an expensive process.
Salka said the project should be finished mid-fall, but he will confirm timeline details at Tuesday’s Town Board meeting.
“We’ve got a road that has a hole in it right now, so in an effort to address the short-term issue ... we’re going to be putting steel-plates down,” La May said. “Those steel plates may be there for a period, so (drivers) just need to be cautious as they drive through that intersection.”