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Madrid Stormwater & Erosion Control Project

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Madrid, New Mexico, has a storied history. Twenty years after its founding in 1869, the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad extended a spur line to access the area’s rich coal seams. Madrid quickly became a full-scale mining town of 2,500 residents that featured a hospital, a schoolhouse, a company store, a baseball field, a Chrysler dealership, and an infamouse Christmas light show and parade. Coal production dwindled when natural gas became available in 1949, and miners drifted away. By 1960 only two families remained, but in the mid-70s the town was resettled by artistic and independent-minded people attracted by the Madrid’s history and scenic beauty.

The Abandoned Mine Land (AML) Program has been actively working to address adverse effects of historic coal mining in Madrid since 1980. Over 100 hazardous abandoned mine features have been addressed. Work has included closing open shafts portals, extinguishing mine fires, and the removal or remediation of dangerous structures and materials.

Since 2010 AML has focused on addressing stormwater, sedimentation, and flooding issues resulting from outdated and deteriorating stormwater infrastructure and large legacy coal waste (gob) piles on the east slope of town. This work is based on the Madrid Mining Landscape community outreach effort in 2010-2011 and preliminary design concepts developed in 2013. The Madrid Stormwater & Erosion Safety Project, a partnership with Santa Fe County, the Madrid Landowners Association, Madrid Water, and NMDOT, is the latest effort to address ongoing mining related issues.

Click on the “News & Events” tab to learn about past projects associated with the Madrid Mining Landscape effort, or continue reading to learn about our ongoing work.

Madrid Stormwater & Erosion Control Project: Project Areas and Objectives

AML and project partners have developed the following goals that will guide alternative actions for three project areas:

Icehouse Area
  • Reduce flooding and coal waste sedimentation in homes, businesses, and roads
  • Increase water retention and infiltration on east slope near concentrated coal waste areas
  • Reduce long-term maintenance costs of stormwater systems
  • Address emergency vehicle access in east Madrid during large storm events
  • Address flooding at the low point on Highway 14 and assist conveyance of stormwater past private properties to Madrid Arroyo
  • Ensure safe and sustainable conveyance of stormwater into the Madrid Arroyo
Firehouse Area
  • Reduce coal waste movement downhill toward Firehouse Lane
  • Increase water retention and infiltration on east slope near concentrated coal waste areas
  • Reduce stormwater flows from Firehouse Lane toward commercial properties to the north
Water Tank Area
  • Improve security and reliability of stored water that supplies Madrid’s fire hydrants

What’s Next

Conceptual Design Drafts for the Madrid Sormwater & Erosion Control Project are now available for public review. Visit the New and Events page to learn more.