ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Albuquerque District, awarded a $7 million contract June 10, 2022, to implement engineering solutions to protect key water infrastructure in the Gallinas Watershed, near Las Vegas, New Mexico, in response to the recent damage caused by the local wildfires.
The contract was awarded to North Wind Site Services, LLC, based out of Idaho Falls, Idaho. Construction crews arrived on location and began working June 11.
“We want to make sure we’re working fast and effectively to get advanced measures in place to protect critical infrastructure from flooding and additional damage,” said Lt. Col. Patrick Stevens, USACE, Albuquerque District Commander.
The contractor will use gabion baskets, erosion wattles, and log jams to protect key water infrastructure in the Gallinas Canyon from post-wildfire ash and debris.
“Our number one priority continues to be the life, health, and safety of those affected by the fires,” said Stevens.
USACE ensured these critical engineering solutions were implemented quickly by using a contracting tool called an Undefinitized Contract Action (UCA), which allows the contractor to begin work immediately before final terms and conditions are agreed upon. UCAs are sometimes used when the Government needs work to happen quickly in response to natural disasters and emergencies.
The period of construction performance is June 10, 2022 through July 15, 2022.
President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. visited New Mexico, June 11, to meet with state leadership, federal agencies on the ground, and community members effected by the fires. During his visit, the President expressed maximum federal support for the protective and recovery efforts.
“We have a responsibility to help the state recover,” Biden said during a briefing in Santa Fe. “We will be here for you in response and recovery as long as it takes.”
The President made additional disaster assistance available to the State of New Mexico by authorizing an increase in the level of Federal funding for debris removal and emergency protective measures undertaken in the State of New Mexico as a result of wildfires and straight-line winds beginning on April 5, 2022 and continuing.