ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) –The City of Albuquerque is making major upgrades to the gateway to Mesa Del Sol in the southeast corner of the city. This comes as more businesses and people move into the area. The City is investing about $8 million to make sure the bridge at University Boulevard over the Tijeras Arroyo is built to last for decades. 

“We need to invest in the bridge and as part of investing in the bridge and making sure it’s going to be good for another 20-30 years, we’re also now going to add a couple of extra lanes to accommodate the additional growth at Mesa Del Sol,” said Johnny Chandler with the City’s Department of Municipal Development.

Construction on the bridge started back in January. This is the first time there have been major improvements other than general maintenance in more than 15 years. Over the years, the bridge has gone through wear and tear.

So the City is planning on installing a better drainage system for stormwater runoff from the Tijeras Arroyo during storms. They’re also adding an additional lane in each direction, making it two lanes on each side. In addition to the new lanes, they plan on making improvements to traffic signs, pavement markings and are widening curbs and sidewalks on the bridge.

Chandler said the City wants to make improvements now to the infrastructure as more people move there and as big companies continue investing in the area. “The gateway to Mesa Del Sol is so critical,” said Chandler. “2018, 2020 Mayor Keller was able to secure a couple of really large Netflix deals, we’re looking at $2 billion for an over a 10 or 20-year investment, we got an International School opening up there, houses being built.” 

He said the improvements to the bridge will also allow for easier access to the Isleta Amphitheater, which is slated to have concerts again this summer. The construction is expected to be completed late this fall. The city also believes these improvements will bolster the area’s development as a significant employment center.