Infrastructure improvements in design for Wells Park neighborhood

Albuquerque News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – One of Albuquerque’s oldest neighborhoods is on track to get major upgrades, including new sidewalks and street lights. The city just wrapped up a survey of all the infrastructure work needed in Wells Park, just north of downtown.

The city is working to fix the curbs that aren’t ADA compliant, and add sidewalks and LED lighting. “We want to make this a destination place for people to bring businesses, for people to bring their families,” said Johnny Chandler with the city’s Department of Municipal Development. “There’s a great community center, downtown is just down the way. This neighborhood has a chance to be a real hub.”

The city just released a Wells Park Neighborhood ADA and Lighting Assessment. It shows that this area between I-40 and Mountain, and from First to Fourth streets has 117 ramps and more than 350 driveways that aren’t ADA compliant; and about 10,000 feet of missing sidewalk, or a quarter of the neighborhood.

Drive through the stretch and it’s easy to spot the issues, including telephone poles blocking the walkways, and some streets have outdated lighting if they even have lights at all. The study shows there are 28 intersections with inadequate lighting that the city plans to replace with LEDs.

Only Fourth Street is up to date. Wells Park Neighborhood Association President Doreen McKnight said the upgrades would mean a lot to neighbors and the businesses that have invested in the area. “Even for just commercial properties and businesses that have, you know, a walkup customer base, it would really mean a lot to them because it looks nicer, it makes it safer, more accessible and it really just makes the entire neighborhood more walkable,” McKnight explained.

The design phases are underway for both the lighting and ADA fixes. The construction could still be a couple of years away for the lighting and even longer for the ADA sidewalks and curb ramps.

The total price tag for construction hasn’t been finalized yet, but the city has $4 million from the quarter-cent transportation tax to cover part of it.

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