Updated: Sunday, 20 Feb 2011, 9:32 PM MST
Published : Sunday, 20 Feb 2011, 9:32 PM MST
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Yet another main arterial roadway in Southeast Albuquerque will be completely closed as part of the city’s $26 million Lead/Coal reconstruction project.
Starting on Monday Yale Boulevard will be closed from just north of Coal to just north of Avenida Cesar Chavez. Coal has been closed since early November.
Some local businesses say they’re going to try and get through the brief closure and hopefully not lose too much business.
“We encourage our customers to continue to shop with us. We will be open the whole time during the construction,” said Doug Torr with Smith’s Food and Drug. “The experience has been frustrating mainly for the customers.”
Torr says, remarkably, business hasn’t fallen off too much since Coal closed, shutting off access to half of the store’s parking lot on the corner of Coal and Yale. A temporary entrance has been added on Harvard to help local residents get to the store.
"All the businesses will have access during the construction. It will be limited access, but all businesses will have access for the duration of the project," said Mark Motsko, the city’s Department of Municipal Development Spokesman.
The transportation department’s administrative office is smack in the middle of the closure and the city has made adjustments so the bus-yard will still be accessible for its drivers.
The city says shutting down coal for 30 to 60 days is the quickest and most efficient way to install new storm drains.
"It is a very large storm drain that has to go in to alleviate any potential flooding problems for all the neighborhoods in the area,” said Motsko.
"We're in a neighborhood environment. It makes it very challenging for everybody and again we're asking for patience and we understand temporary growing pains for ultimately a great, great facility that's going to be built," he said.
The Lead Coal project is expected to be finished around the summer of 2012. The massive project is not only installing new storm drains on the one-way streets, but also creating a more pedestrian friendly environment while making the streets two lanes.
"The (Yale) closure will definitely hurt the business because; if you are driving it does take quite a while to get to the store. But, overall I think it will improve the store when the construction is completed," Torr said.
The Yale closure is also forcing UNM to adjust its bus routes. Normally busses pick up hundreds of students from the University Stadium parking lot and drive them to the main campus. During construction on Yale, those busses will use University. UNM says it doesn’t expect many major problems.
For more on the Lead/Coal project click here .