ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A recent crash that killed two people on a dark road outside Albuquerque is now sparking action from county leaders. On Tuesday, Bernalillo County Commissioners approved a multi-million-dollar project that could light the way on miles of roadway out to the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC). Commissioner Steven Michael Quezada thinks it’s something the area needs.
Commissioner Quezada said staff has looked at the lighting situation, and it contributed to the crash.
The plan that went before commissioners Tuesday evening is a project to install solar-powered lights along the I-40 south frontage road to the jail. It’s about a two-mile stretch of dark roadway between Cerro Colorado and Atrisco Vista. A grant from the New Mexico Department of Transportation would pay for 95% of the nearly $3 million project. The county would pay for the remaining $145,000.
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“It would be a shame to give up a grant that pays for 95% of the project, you rarely get that,” Commissioner Quezada said. “So, it would be pretty sad if it doesn’t pass.”
In the deadly May crash, the corrections officer behind the wheel told deputies he couldn’t see the two men on the dark roadside. A memorial now stands where the two men died.
“Staff has really kind of stepped up and at least looking at the lighting situation because that’s what we know caused the accident that you referred to earlier, and it was a matter of somebody couldn’t see,” said Commissioner Quezada. “I don’t think people realize how important lighting is.”