County looking to improve South Valley drainage ditch with proposed trail system

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – There’s a push to spruce up a mile-long drainage ditch that runs from west Central through the South Valley down to I-25. The county would like to make it a destination with trails. The plan is to build a trail system along the drain, that would not only bring people to the South Valley but also change what people think of it.

“The more people you get out with their families, more people on their bicycles, more people recreating there is less opportunity for people that want to use the drains for nefarious reasons,” said Nolan Bennett with Albuquerque Metropolitan Arroyo Flood Control Authority.

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The trails would connect neighborhoods from Central down to the Isleta Pueblo. The ditches were built in the 1930s and some areas are picturesque with some that could be a little more inviting.

The county, along with Albuquerque Metropolitan Arroyo Flood Control Authority, thinks it would also improve the quality of life for people who live in those neighborhoods.

“I’ve got four grandkids. They love riding bikes and to have one this close, they’re always over here playing ball and stuff so they all have bicycles. I think it would be cool,” said Robert Maestas, who lives along Isleta drain.

The county is asking for public input on what the trail should look like, including ideas on benches landscaping, and lighting. The county is holding public meetings online Thursday and Saturday. For more information or to give comments, visit

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