Construction projects expected for Rio Bravo Boulevard

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An area of Albuquerque that’s seen months of heavy road construction is about to get even more. The county is starting up two more South Valley road projects alongside one that’s still going on.

Major roadwork has already been happening in the areas of Isleta and Bridge over the last year. Now, in two weeks, Bernalillo County will start work on Rio Bravo and not many drivers are looking forward to it.

“Oh, here, this is going to be a nightmare. Come four o’clock when everyone is getting off of work,” commented Louie Garcia, a South Valley resident.

The so-called “Rio Bravo Boulevard Gap” project is the first, covering the area from Prince to 2ND Street. It will increase the number of lanes from four to six. It will also add a multi-use trail connection, sidewalks, bike lanes, lighting, and new signals.

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“It was a gap in between the end of where the Rio Bravo Intersection started with 2nd Street to where the DOT had finished their project, and it’s actually from about the South Diversion Project, which is just past Broadway to about Avenida del Tren,” said BernCo Engineering Program Manager Rodrigo Eichwald.

The second Rio Bravo Project will be at the 2nd Street intersection. That will include adding a lane in each direction and making a quieter rail crossing.

“I realize there is not as much housing right at that intersection, but you can hear the trains pretty far away,” stated Eichwald. “You know, if you hear the trains coming at all hours of the night, you know this will stop that from happening.”

With all the construction in the past few years along Bridge and Isleta, some are dreading what it might mean before the projects are done.

“They need to get done. They need to get it done, so we’ve got to just put up with it and deal with it the best we can,” stated Louie Garcia, a South Valley resident.

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“It’s going to be busy waiting an hour in traffic and stuff. Normal but now it’s going to be double the time,” says Jason Montoya, a South Valley resident.

The “Rio Bravo Boulevard Gap” project should cost about $5 million. The 2ND Street intersection project will cost more than $12 million. Construction for the Rio Bravo projects was slated to begin Monday but is being pushed back by two weeks to give time for prep work.

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