HOGBACK — Construction that has plugged up traffic between Hogback and Shiprock for the past six months is expected to end this week.

The New Mexico Department of Transportation since April has been smoothing out the notoriously bumpy five-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 64 between mile markers 26 and 32.

The nearly $3.5 million project included removal of the former three-inch deep pavement, replacing it with another three-inch layer.

"We all had issues with it especially if you're riding a motorcycle," said LoRenzo Bates, the Navajo Nation council delegate representing the Hogback Chapter.

A new median also was installed at the Hogback curve. The new medians include glare shields, which indicate the median during evening hours.

"At night when the lights are coming at you, it's hard to see," said Richard Lujan, foreman for San Bar Construction of Albuquerque, the company placing the glare shields.

The medians before and after the curve will remain, according to Richard Lujan, a foreman with San Bar Construction of Albuquerque.

The department contracted the bulk of the work to Fisher Industries, based in Placitas.

The project initially was set to finish by late August, though Fisher Industries was contracted by several projects in the northwest New Mexico corner, which set back the project by just over a month.

The project is unrelated to the Bloomfield U.S. Highway 64 reconstruction.