Assessment suggests replacement of Hull Street overpass

By Gabriel Monte: CNJ staff writer

City Manager Joe Thomas said Wednesday a preliminary assessment recommends replacing the Hull Street overpass over rebuilding it.

Thomas updated members of the Public Works Committee on the Hull Street overpass during its regular Wednesday meeting.

Thomas said early cost estimates for replacing the structure range between $7 million to $9 million depending on what materials are used.

Nebraska-based HDR Engineering is performing the engineering study of the 46-year-old structure.

“They have serious concerns about the (present) foundation,” he said.

The city commission closed the bridge that connects south Clovis to the main part of the city last month for safety reasons after a state engineer deemed the structure unsafe.

Thomas said he could not give a timeline on when work could begin.

City officials said about 4,300 vehicles crossed the structure daily.

Thomas said the city could choose between concrete beams or steel beams as the new foundation of the structure. He said concrete beams would lead to a steeper profile, which could lead to extra costs to modify the approach to the structure. He said steel beams, while more expensive, would enable the city to keep the existing profile of the bridge.

Thomas said a new structure would last between 40 to 50 years.

Public Works Director Clint Bunch said steel beams would give the structure a longer life span.

Meanwhile, Thomas said the state approved funding of $300,000 for the design work. He said the funds require a 25-percent match from the city.

He said having a design allowed the city to better estimate how much money to ask for from the state Legislature.

Thomas said the city is researching funding avenues including federal funding.

He said if the state Legislature denies funding for the project, the city commission will have to pursue other funding options.

He said there aren’t specific city funds set aside presently to pay for work.

Clovis Mayor Gayla Brumfield said last month a delegation of city officials and local business owners secured support to reopen the overpass from Gov. Bill Richardson.

In other business:

• Committee members approved to renew a contract with Cannon Air Force Base to accept yard waste from the base to turn into mulch.

Bunch said the agreement between the city and the base started in 2002.