New Mexico Gas Co. is starting a gas pipeline replacement project on Tues, August 1st 2017, between Pilar and Rinconada, NM along Highway 68. The 6 mile stretch to be replaced runs above ground on the geologically unstable West side of the Rio Grande between mile marker 30 and mile marker 24. This side of the river in this area is prone to landslides, and the ground is constantly shifting due to underground springs and geological activity. The existing pipeline is 8″ in diameter, to be replaced with 12″ pipeline and rerouted to the East side of the river next to the North-bound lane of Highway 68.
This pipeline replacement project will run a predicted 4 months from August through November, and will hopefully be completed by Thanksgiving 2017. The road crews will be working on 1 mile stretches at a time, closing one lane of traffic on those mile stretches beginning August 8th. A pilot car will escort the traffic through the construction areas. Expected wait times are estimated at 15 minutes.
If you’ve booked a trip with us and are traveling to our Headquarters from Taos, please allow yourself an extra 30 minutes of travel time. The typical travel time is about 30 minutes, so plan on the drive down Highway 68 from Taos taking approximately an hour. Here at New Mexico River Adventures, we’re going to ensure our guests are impacted as minimally as possible by this project. Our river trips on the Rio Grande will still be going out every day, and a moderately short wait in traffic along a beautiful highway will absolutely not affect the high quality of our Racecourse and Rio Grande Gorge rafting trips. When you’re booking your trip with us, our reservationists can offer up helpful advice about the most convenient local accommodations to help you plan your routes and drive times.