From The Farmington Daily Times (Noel Lyn Smith):
U.S. Bureau of Reclamation construction inspector Kenny Redhouse carefully watched crewmembers install a section of pipe in an area south of Newcomb on April 15 as construction continued on a pipeline that will eventually deliver San Juan River water to Gallup and communities on the Navajo Nation.
The water will replace dwindling groundwater supplies and meet future demand…
Project broke ground in 2012
It was in June 2012 when then Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, former Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Jr. and others broke ground for construction of the first phase of the Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project.
Almost a decade later, construction proceeds on the San Juan Lateral, the largest of two segments that comprise the project. This lateral will eventually pump water from the San Juan River near Waterflow then deliver it south to Gallup and to Navajo Nation chapters along the pipeline and that surrounds the city.
As the lateral approaches Gallup, it branches east toward Crownpoint while another branch will serve Window Rock, Arizona, and areas along New Mexico Highway 264.
The bureau marked in October the completion of the Cutter Lateral, which will deliver water to several chapters on the eastern side of the Navajo Nation and to the southwestern portion of the Jicarilla Apache Nation.
Bart Deming, the project’s deputy construction engineer, said construction of the San Juan Lateral is about 50% complete…
Seven more years of work
The total cost of the project is about $1.5 billion, and the entire project will be operational in 2028, he said.
It is not difficult to notice construction activities alongside U.S. Highway 491 in Newcomb and Sheep Springs.
Rick Reese, field engineering division manager for the bureau’s Four Corners office, said sections of pipe near Burnham Junction, in Naschitti and portions of Newcomb have been installed within the last year and a half…
The area of focus now is south of Newcomb into Sheep Springs.
Completion on this portion of the lateral is on track to end in early 2022, Reese said…
The bureau awarded in September 2020 a nearly $46 million contract to Archer Western Construction LCC of Phoenix to build the pumping plant and a second one in Twin Lakes.