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Grand Avenue project goes out to bid

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By David Giuliani

After years of planning, the project to improve Grand Avenue has gone out to bid.

The bidding process is expected to take up to two months, and then work should begin after the winter ends. The project is slated for completion in the late summer of 2010.

“The crews will work with business owners to provide access during the project,” said Kenny Lujan, a spokesman for the state Department of Transportation.

The road should be open nearly all the time, although it may be closed for an hour at times, he said.

The Grand project will be from Tilden to Columbia streets. Downtown merchants had requested the street be narrowed to two lanes, so visitors would get the feel of a downtown area. But a City Council majority rejected that idea, saying it would increase traffic on New Mexico Avenue, which goes by three schools.

The state plans to add landscaping to Grand in an attempt to beautify the area.