ROCK SPRINGS, New Mexico. – Navajo Housing Authority (NHA) residents living at a 64-unit housing complex in Rock Spring, New Mexico. will now have an easier time getting to their subdivision with the official opening of Shondeen Road. About 30 individuals comprised of community members, local officials, and NHA staff helped celebrate the completion of a $275,688 road project with a ribbon cutting dedication ceremony Friday morning.
The new .28 mile stretch of asphalt connects McKinley County Road to the North West Entrance of the NHA subdivision. Local officials say this was a project, three years in the making and took the collaboration of community members and agencies such as NHA, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Navajo Department of Transportation, and the McKinley County to complete.
The new road consisted of partial removal and replacement of the existing access road with a 6″ base course with new 3″ asphalt. Arviso Construction of lyanbito, New Mexico was selected to complete the project.
NHA Board of Commissioner, Frankie Lee, spoke on behalf of the NHA Board, “I really like for our Navajo Nation to have safer living conditions and driving conditions like this road here will provide,” said Commissioner Lee. “I’ve worked on billion-dollar highway projects and this project right here makes me just as proud as those projects I’ve worked on over the years.”
“I applaud the community for sticking with it and forming the partnership with the different tribal entities so you could get this project done,” Lee added.
Interim Chief Executive Officer Roberta Roberts also was given an opportunity to speak, “Today is an example that there is opportunity and that regulations shouldn’t stop us from progress for our people,” said Roberts. “Each new project that we complete together with the local leadership is a stepping-stone and a template for other areas that are to follow.”
“Thank you to the rest of the partners that were involved with this accomplishment and to the people that are going to be using this road – its for them,” Roberts added.
Several other individuals provided remarks including Rock Springs Chapter President Eleanor Jones, Vice-President Jasper Long, and Secretary/Treasurer Ruby Brown who praised and acknowledged the different entities involved in helping to complete the road project. After which a short ribbon cutting ceremony was held at the west entrance of Shondeen Road.
After the ribbon cutting ceremony, an appreciation luncheon was held at the Rock Springs Chapter. Keynote speaker, Navajo Nation Council Delegate Seth Damon, (Baahaali, Chilchiltah, Manuelito, Red Rock, Rock Springs, Tsayatoh) expressed his appreciation for the work that was accomplished.
“Even though this is only .28 of a mile this is something that is going to change lives…there is over 190 people that live in these homes over here,” Damon said. “I want to thank you, NHA, to your team, if it wasn’t for your team this would not become a reality.”
To conclude the event Rock Springs Chapter President presented NHA with a framed sand painting depicting NHA’s logo. The sand painting is the work of Navajo artist and local Rock Springs resident Shawn Nelson.
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