Catwalk Trail Reconstruction Design-Build

Panoramic View of Catwalk Structure

Project awards received

Owner: Federal Highway Administration – Central Federal Lands Division/U.S. Forest Service
Engineer: Bohannan Huston, Inc.
Location of Project: Gila National Forest, near Glenwood, NM
Final Contract Amount: $4,617,780
Completion Date: May 2016

Project Scope (included Design and Construction):

  • 700 feet of suspended catwalk
  • Three steel pedestrian bridges
  • Restoration of the primitive and accessible trails leading to the structures
  • Removal and disposal of creek obstructions and existing flood-damaged structures
  • Slope protection for erosion control and prevention of falling rocks
  • Total rehabilitation and expansion of the parking lot that provides access to the trail
  • Preservation of the existing historical and archeological elements

Project Challenges:

  • Remote location in an environmentally sensitive area
  • Only nine months to complete design and construction
  • Irregular canyon walls required custom fabrication for every piece of steel and a different bearing for every support


  • 1933: Original Catwalk Trail is built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC)
  • 1978: Catwalk Trail is designated a National Recreation Trail
  • 2012: The lightning-sparked Whitewater/Baldy Fire burns over 290,000 acres in the Trail’s proximity
  • 2013: A catastrophic rain cascades down the burn scar, flooding Whitewater Canyon, and destroying the historic Catwalk
  • 2015: Design and construction begin to restore the historic Trail on August 24th
  • 2016: Catwalk Trail Recreation Area is re-opened to the public on May 28th



















NM 599 / County Road 62 Interchange

NM 599 Overpass

Completed Overpass Bridge over NM 599

Owner/Engineer: NMDOT
Location of Project: Santa Fe County, NM
Final Contract Amount: $7,080,995
Completion Date: July 2013
Project Awards Received:

  •  2013 NMDOT District Five Pavement Smoothness Quality Award
  •  2013 American Concrete Institute New Mexico Chapter Excellence in Concrete Award

This project involved construction of an overpass bridge over NM 599 on the west side of Santa Fe. Roundabouts were constructed on each side of NM 599 which allowed reduced bridge width on the overpass and also eliminated potentially hazardous stop conditions. The intersection also accommodates increasing pedestrian and bicycle traffic from the surrounding area.

The bridge incorporated original site-specific artwork by two local area artists:  Leanna Aragon from the Tesuque Pueblo and Leo Romero a 5th generation Agua Fria Village native.  Each artist was assigned one side of the bridge and was asked to create themes that expressed their community’s experience of living in this place.

Aragon’s work includes avanyu, the water serpent sacred to Tewa peoples, and the turkey pindi that was raised in the area. Romero’s work references the carretas (carts) which brought firewood from the nearby Caja del Rio and the springs (ojitos) that supplied travelers with refreshment in the early days of the Camino Real.

The artwork was produced by fabricating large precast concrete facing panels, providing a durable “canvas” that allows the design to stand the test of time. The Reinforced Earth Co. collaborated with the artists to incorporate the artwork into the design plans of the retaining walls. The company’s precast division then precisely transferred the artwork onto the facing panels to achieve the desired 3-D relief and surface textures. Finishing colors were added on the job site.

Exit 102 Acomita I-40 Interchange at MP 102.000

New Mexico Department of Transportation (Owner)
Contract Amount: $3,851,057 (AUI Subcontracted portion)

This project is one of the first bridge/interchange projects that utilized roundabouts at the on and off ramps.  The newly constructed bridge over I-40 was built approximately 1000’ west of the existing interchange.  The two-span, 200’ long twin bridges contained many aesthetic features from custom formliners to custom-stained concrete.  Traffic was never interrupted during the construction of the new bridge or during the widening of the existing bridges.   This was a very challenging portion of the project as the existing interchange bridges had to be partially demolished and widened without disrupting traffic on either I-40 or Old NM 124 running underneath the bridge.  AUI devised a method utilizing steel beams and heavy duty shoring to accommodate this unique challenge.  AUI was a subcontractor to Kirkland Construction who was responsible for the paving and earthwork on the project.  AUI constructed all of the concrete flat work on the project along with all concrete structures on the project including but not limited to curb and gutter, sidewalk, drop inlets, PCCP, colored/ patterned median paving, bridges, concrete box culverts and concrete slope blankets.

A major challenge on the project was the location.  The Acomita area is well known for its harsh winters.  The majority of this project was constructed during the winter months.  AUI fought through numerous snow storms and many days where the wind chill factor brought temperatures down into the single digits; however, the project progressed and was never suspended due to weather.  AUI made provisions to accommodate cold weather concrete to the satisfaction of the NMDOT.  This project was been a great success and a fine example of collaboration between the contractors, the NMDOT and the Pueblo of Acoma.

NMDOT CN 1495, BR-0377(1)01

New Mexico Department of Transportation
Project Location: Luna County, NM
Contract Amount:  $1,336,431

This project called for the removal and replacement of a 192’ long bridge over the Mimbres River.  The 8-span bridge was a slab bridge approximately 33’ wide.  AUI placed the seven piers and two abutments on driven pile foundations.  Our work also included the grading of the riverbed 400’ on both sides of the bridge.  The footprint of the river was widened to match the newly constructed bridge.  AUI moved approximately 5,300 CY of earthwork in order to accomplish this.  Two hundred cubic yards of rip-rap was placed on the slopes near the bridge.   A total of 489 CY of concrete and 109,000 pounds of epoxy coated rebar were placed on the bridge.

Approximately 1,400 LF of roadway was also removed and replaced as part of this project, and 4,000 CY of borrow had to be imported in order to match the new elevation of the bridge.  Over 1,250 tons of base course and 680 tons of asphalt were placed in the roadway.

The project had a very aggressive schedule mandated by the Owner for construction of the new bridge.  AUI was allowed 90 calendar days for construction of the contract, and AUI completed it on time.

Project News

AUI Breaks Ground on Largest Project in Company History

Rio Bravo Groundbreaking

July 31, 2017–

The NMDOT held a groundbreaking ceremony for the I-25/Rio Bravo Interchange Project today, and construction is scheduled to begin on August 8th.

The $50M project is the largest in AUI’s 36-year history.
Read more…

Employee News

Deluca Presented with Albuquerque Good Samaritan Award

Photo of Mayor Richard Berry presenting Good Samaritan Award to Anthony Deluca.

September 1, 2017–

Today, Mayor Richard J. Berry recognized Anthony Deluca as this week’s Good Samaritan for helping a man who was blind cross a busy intersection. Deluca is an employee of AUI, Inc., a contractor for the Albuquerque Rapid Transit (ART) project. Read more…