ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – After many changes, the City of Albuquerque has a new vision for the Rail Trail Project, and it could be taking shape as early as this year.
The Keller Administration’s Rail Trail Project is years in the making, and it could finally be a reality soon after many bumps in the road.
“It’s a massive project, like the mayor said. It’s probably the biggest project we’ve had since the zoo and the Biopark,” said Terry Bruner, director of Municipal Development.
The multi-million dollar project would connect some important parts of Downtown Albuquerque. Now, it might actually come to fruition after two years of talks.
The Rail Trail will consist of 11 major sections all in the Downtown area from the Rail Yards to the Sawmill District, Old Town, Tingley Beach, the Barela’s neighborhood, and back around in a 7-mile loop.
The trail would show major attractions like scenic stops along the Rio Grande, tourist spots, and a unique raised trail area with a plaza beneath for shops and food vendors over by the convention center. It will also have a redone underpass with lighting at Central and 1st highlighting the Historic Route 66 and a large electric tumbleweed.
So far, $40 million has been set aside for the project.
“We had an $11 million federal grant. We’ve received $10 million in state recovery funds from the governor [and] had some appropriations from our congressional delegation.”
The city hopes the trail will bring new life to the Downtown area with construction beginning later this year. This project hasn’t come without bumps in the road.
Earlier this year, the city worked out a deal for a land swap with the state and prior to that many plans have changed since the first announcement two years ago.
As for safety along the trail, the city said they are working to have the trail fully lit with street lights and security officers. The project is expected to wrap up in 2026.