MRCOG releases draft 20-year road project wish list

Local News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Mid-Region Council of Governments has a long list of road projects it wants to see get done across the metro over the next 20 years.

The ideas range from straightening out the S-curve on I-25 near downtown to much-needed maintenance on major roadways, but there’s not enough money to fund it all.

Anyone who drives that so-called S-curve on I-25 between Avenida Cesar Chavez and Central knows it can be a dangerous stretch.

“That has caused some accidents along the road and is a safety issue. [The Department of Transportation] would like to go ahead in their reconstruction effort,” David Pennella with MRCOG stated.

A $400 million plan to straighten the major thoroughfare is just one wish list item on the new 2040 Metropolitan Transportation Plan in its first draft.

“The amount available we have for capital projects, for public funds, we have over $4.6 billion over a 20 year period,” Pennella added.

But the big price tag puts it on the list of unfunded projects that likely won’t happen unless they get a grant or other federal funding.

“Some projects we have partial funding for but we don’t have enough money for design or construction,” Pennella said.

Others on that wish list include continued work on the Los Lunas River crossing to widen the road from two lanes to four.

“This will prove four lanes across the river on an aging road,” MRCOG Transportation Planner Jake Wolff said. “That’s a lot of traffic, especially as Los Lunas grows in population.”

Additionally, there are plans for a proposed bus service from the Sunport to UNM and CNM.

“It’s not like art. It’s more like the Rapid Ride that we’ve had in the metropolitan area for the past 12 years,” Pennella explained.

Meanwhile, the projects drivers can count on to be funded in the draft plan include much-needed infrastructure work, including highway and bridge preservation.

The public can weigh in on the draft plan at two upcoming hearings. You can find the link to the 300-page transportation plan here.

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