ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – While the city is getting ready to fix up a handful of old bike and pedestrian bridges, there are a few other big connections the city’s looking to make to encourage more people to get out of their cars.
One of the most popular bike routes in the city, the North Diversion Channel is home to a series of small and large bike and pedestrian bridges that cross the concrete drainage ditch and several drains along the edge of the channel.
Albuquerque’s Parks and Recreation Department is now planning to replace seven old wooden bridge decks along North Diversion Channel.
“These trails are like backbones of our city,” said David Simon, director of Albuquerque’s Parks and Recreation Department.
The bridges exist along the channel, west of I-25 between Osuna Road to the north and Montaño Road to the south. Simon estimates the wooden bridge decks are more than 20 years old.
“They need to be replaced, it’s time to do it,” said Simon of the bridge decks.
Many of the bridge decks have pieces of wood chipping away from their surface. KRQE News 13 also found several loose screws along the bridge decks Friday, leaving planks loosened.
Each deck will be replaced with a smooth concrete deck and covered with an epoxy and sand layer for texture and traction.
“This concrete has really been received well already by our bicyclist community,” said Simon.
In an interview with KRQE News 13 Friday, Simon estimated the bridgework will cost the city around $500,000 in total.
The city is also looking at building several new trails on the horizon, including a 1.5-mile loop at Ventana Ranch Community Park.
“I think the Ventana Ranch trail will probably be the next one we see move toward construction,” said Simon. “We’ve completed some planning of that trail.”
Bernalillo County recently completed paving the northern leg of the Alameda Drain trail, which runs parallel to Second Street, ending at Montano Road. The city will extend that path an additional four miles to the south to I-40.
“The Alameda, Second Street trail is about 30% complete in planning, and as we move to the 60% completion level, we’ll be doing some public involvement and public engagement in that,” said Simon.
The city is also looking to begin the planning stages of a new bike and walking trail along Copper Street, near Wyoming.
“Give that neighborhood an off-street trail segment along the south boundary of Los Altos Golf Course,” said Simon.
The city expects the North Diversion Channel bridge decks to be replaced over the next year.
According to data gathered and published by the Mid-Region Council of Governments, hundreds of thousands of trips are recorded on Albuquerque’s bike and pedestrian trail network every week. The data is measured by “eco counters,” which are permanent bicycle and pedestrian counting poles along different trail networks within the city.