The 4th Street Revitalization of the Village of Los Ranchos transformed the corridor into an economic and civic hub for this small municipality. The project includes both master planning and design. Residents, merchants and visitors benefited as this thoroughfare was transformed into the neighborhood spine—a complete street with restaurants, commerce, sidewalks, landscaping, and civic spaces.
This revitalization strategy and master plan focused on the commercial corridor along 4th Street through the Village of Los Ranchos. The project focused on strategies that could promote the commercial revitalization of the businesses in the corridor while encouraging a mixed land use pattern.
The market study plan provided information regarding community demographics and retail expenditure potential as well as background information on local businesses.
Following the conclusion of master planning efforts, the project team moved on to the total redesign of the corridor. A sense of the community’s unique history and culture was integrated into the redesign using materials, design motifs and a complete streets approach to design.
The City of Farmington hired Sites Southwest to design two challenging extensions of its centerpiece Animas River Trail system. The first trail segment extends the riverside path from the existing ‘Among the Waters’ trailhead nearly a mile to the east, upstream from its confluence with the San Juan River. The second reach will nearly double the total length of the trail system, extending it three miles east from the existing terminus at the Riverside Nature Center, past the Farmington Museum and squeezing behind a row of businesses via another steep embankment above the river.
As part of the second trail extension project, SSW also developed a preliminary Master Plan for a proposed Gateway Park overlooking the river just east of the museum -- intended to serve as a focal point for the community and highlight the connection between the museum, river, and newly proposed trail extension.
Sites Southwest designed a new identity for this industrial park in El Paso, TX, with design concepts that improved walkability and ADA accessibility, better managed vehicular movement, and provided a cohesive design and theme. An overall design plan that included street trees and an ADA accessible walking/hiking/biking trail with pedestrian crossings, colors, and theming that exemplified Butterfield Trail was well received. Innovative designs were implemented to create a seamless transition between the old and new landscapes.
A secure walking surface and the recycling of on-site existing materials into the new project provided a creative solution for the trail system, resulting in an attractive yet relatively inexpensive walking/biking path. Traffic calming devices such as roundabouts, street narrowing, and mid-block crossings are also visible throughout. A road diet, or narrowing of very wide streets, provides the right of way for new trails and future small linear parks without interfering with necessary semi-truck traffic. These features are all integrated into a thematic Old West trail feel, complete with trails, small bridges that cross the stormwater conveyance system, and a dry riverbed running throughout.
Sites Southwest worked closely with EPIA and the project engineers to create a colorful and vibrant corridor for Convair Rd. at the El Paso International Airport with a regional flair day and night. Low water and colorful plants create an iconic image of El Paso for residents and travelers who are coming, going or just passing through.
Sites Southwest created visual 3D simulations to provide cutting edge design visualization that enabled the client to clearly see the end result.
Sites Southwest utilized low-voltage state of the art landscape lighting to EPIA which allows for the landscape lighting to be controlled from a smart phone app or a computer screen simply and quickly. Whether travelers or Sun Bowl players are arriving, lights can be changed in seconds to accommodate the team’s colors and then changed back as soon as the next team arrives, even if it is on the next plane. Improvements include wide walkways, street trees, colorful shrubs, decorative screen walls, low water drip irrigation, low voltage landscape lighting and pedestrian rest areas complete with site furnishings that provide a visually interesting opportunity for a little exercise and/or respite.
The need to improve and widen Eastlake Boulevard in El Paso County presented an opportunity to enhance the visual quality and user experience of this heavily traveled roadway. The importance of having multiple activities and users sharing a common space for a more complete street is developed along the approximately four miles of roadway addressed in Phase 1 by Dannenbaum Engineering Corp. and Sites Southwest.
As part of the overall improvements, a hike and bike trail, specialty gabion drainage features, water harvesting, site furnishings, and landscape and irrigation design were incorporated into the new medians and parkways.
The plan is to expand the existing facility by widening the roadway from four to six lanes. From the intersection of Eastlake Boulevard and Interstate Highway 10 to the intersection of Eastlake Boulevard and Darrington Road, the project scope included illumination, safety appurtenances, a drainage system, and signalization.
Fort Bliss Corridor Aesthetics Master Plan
The corridor that surrounds and provides access to Ft. Bliss in El Paso, Texas, should be not only functional but also visually appealing. Dannenbaum Engineering Corporation and TXDOT gave Sites Southwest the task of creating an Aesthetics Master Plan for the project. Sites SW investigated the existing roadways and infrastructure, as well as the surrounding neighborhoods, structures, facilities, and landscapes. This data was cross-referenced with proposed corridor engineering improvements and vetted through a series of meetings with various levels of management and stakeholders. Text and rendered graphics that speak to the beauty of this one-of-a-kind location were expanded and refined, resulting in a final distinct master plan document and graphics.
Sites Southwest was commissioned by the City of Las Cruces and the Downtown Partnership to develop a vision and revitalization strategy for the downtown area. The redevelopment strategy included plans for a new civic plaza and government office buildings, as well as attracting specialty retailers and service providers and enhancing downtown’s role as a cultural and arts center. According to the vision, capital improvements included a new city hall, a new Federal Courthouse, and a new main street. The new Main Street features special paving in areas that can be closed off for special events. Permanent shading elements adjacent to the new plaza will allow it to be easily transformed into a pedestrian-friendly environment for major public events.
Graphic visual simulations concepts were used as part of the design process to help community members and policymakers envision the downtown of the future. Sites Southwest also collaborated with LCDT and the City on legislative and other funding strategies.
The proposed project to widen Montana Ave. in east El Paso, TX includes landscaping for medians and parkways, including trees along the eastbound parkway, shrubs, and a variety of rock on both medians and parkways; the project also includes an irrigation system and an aesthetic design for walls, columns, and over passes based on regional plants such as the poppy flower and the ocotillo. Along with the planned bike lane, shared-use path, and sidewalks, the goal is to create a more cohesive environment for the street in the future.
Paso del Norte Trail Master Plan
In 2018, Sites Southwest completed an extensive master planning effort for the Paso del Norte Trail in El Paso, Texas. This effort was intended to develop a trail that will become a regional attraction that connects communities, celebrates El Paso's history and culture, highlights the Rio Grande, promotes health and active living, and catalyzes economic development, based on the Paso del Norte Health Foundation's mission. This ambitious 60-mile-plus trail project will, once completed, extend from the New Mexico/Texas border to the Southeast corner of El Paso County, and will include spur trail connections to UTEP, the Franklin Mountains Open Space, and various communities and points of interest in El Paso's Mission Valley.
The theme for this trail revolves around the area's international flavor and will include historic references to the Camino Real, agricultural areas along the Rio Grande, and the missions themselves, represented through both design themes and interpretive opportunities. The trail system includes paved multi-use paths, unpaved ditch and levee roads, and an urban component consisting of sidewalks and enhanced bikeways through Downtown El Paso.
The project entails installing landscape improvements in the Redd Road medians and parkways between Westwind Drive and Hellen of Troy Drive in El Paso, TX. The landscaping and trees will not only provide shade for the area's pedestrians and bicyclists, but they will also make the area safer for pedestrians by creating a barrier between the people on the sidewalk and the vehicles on the road. Furthermore, by narrowing the width of the road, medians will help reduce overall speed of vehicles in the area. The project will also help to reduce median washout during rain events and promote green infrastructure within city right-of-way. Repairs to existing damaged curbs and the installation of street lighting are also part of this project.
Sites Southwest and Alta Planning + Design teamed to help the New Mexico State Parks Division bring the long-envisioned Rio Grande Trail to life. With a scope that extends over 500 miles from Colorado to Texas, the New Mexico Rio Grande Trail Master Plan builds off earlier work (some of which had also been completed by Sites Southwest) that identified potential trail alignments through the southern two-thirds of the state. The plan included development of a numeric ranking system to evaluate and update those previous alignment alternatives, as well as exploring new potential routes through the northern third of the state. The result is a trail alignment that will link Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas border-to-border. The plan includes recommendations for trail types for diverse geographic conditions, user accommodations, implementation strategies, and long-term management.
San Mateo Interchange
The Albuquerque storm water diversion channel divides east and westbound I-40 traffic at the San Mateo and I-40 interchange. San Mateo constructs a bridge across the channel. One of the inspirations for the project's aesthetic design was this ephemeral waterway and the growing awareness of water in the southwest. The local mesas and the Sandia Mountains were also sources of inspiration. Three main elements make up the aesthetic design.
The concrete noise/barrier walls on either side of I-40 are the first element. To set the scene for the project, a repeating pattern of rain clouds and mesas was used instead of a standard concrete panel.
The aesthetics of the bridge are the second design element. The bridge fencing is made up of multiple layers of varying sizes of vinyl coated chain link. Mountains on both sides and a metaphorical canyon in the center directly over the storm water channel characterize the patterns.
The bridge monuments are the third aesthetic element. The canyon metaphor is reinforced by these monuments. The tallest is 22' tall and made of pre-cast concrete with natural rock textures. To reflect the setting sun on the Sandia Mountains, the monuments were painted in warm tones.