ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Bernalillo County is one step closer to making a nearly 15-mile multi-use trail a reality in the South Valley. The proposed price tag is in the millions.

“I think it’s a wonderful way to highlight the agricultural nature of the South Valley, along with people wanting to exercise and be healthy and enjoy their community,” said Nolan Bennett, a project manager with Albuquerque Metropolitan Arroyo Flood Control Authority (AMAFCA).

The Isleta Drain and Trail plan was approved by the County Commission last week. The proposed project begins at Central and makes its way down to Isleta Pueblo along the drain banks running through the South Valley. It’s nearly 15 miles long.

The current plan breaks the project up into five stages: Arenal, Atrisco, Rio Bravo, Pajarito, and Los Padillas.

This past year, the county, AMAFCA, and the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District developed these plans based on what people said they would like to see along the trail. They conducted close to 100 surveys, garnered hundreds of visits to their website, and held several meetings with neighborhood associations and the public.

“You know, in addition to walking for exercise, could walk and, you know, do some grocery shopping, walk to school, other activities such as that.”

Some of the amenities along the trail are set to include benches and trailheads with bathrooms and maps, and possibly water features. The estimated price tag for the whole project is just over $19 million.

“The county has been extremely successful in getting federal funding for these trail projects, and so, they hope to continue those good records and getting funding for that so that we can build the trail improvements here in this section.”

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The project already has funding lined up from the county, state, and other entities, and the goal is to secure federal funds as well.

Project managers said it is a way to highlight the beauty of the South Valley.

It will likely be a few years before the new trail is ready for use, depending on how quickly the county can secure full funding.