AZTEC — Construction at Light Plant Road and U.S. Highway 516 in Aztec is expected to slow traffic to a halt today.

The work is expected to take 30 minutes. Police will guide traffic through the intersection in 15-minute increments and will reopen the road when the temporary signals have been removed and cleared from the roadway.

The state Department of Transportation, which oversees the project, will close the heavily traveled intersection at 9 a.m. to remove a temporary signal span. Four new permanent signal posts were installed this week.

"Traffic engineers will program the new signals, and, by the end of the day, they should be up and running," said District 5 Project Manager Herman Patterson. "They are the latest in signalization with cameras to adjust timing of signals by detecting vehicles coming into the intersection."

Drivers headed west to Farmington or Flora Vista can take Rio Grand Avenue, a route south of downtown Aztec off of U.S. Highway 550.

The transportation department began the $1.1 million project in September. Construction includes wider turning lanes, modified medians, new sidewalks, curbs, gutters, storm drains, signals, striping, new signs and lighting. Before Thanksgiving, work at the intersection will be suspended for the winter months. It will resume in spring. The intersection is expected to be finished in summer 2014.

For more information, go to or call 505-955-7704.