RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) – The city of Rio Rancho has money to finish reconstructing one of the most used roads in their city: Southern Boulevard.
The New Mexico Department of Transportation just granted the city of Rio Rancho $800,000 for a restoration project on Southern Boulevard between Unser and Rainbow.
Traffic is heavy along the entire stretch of Southern Boulevard. A main artery in Rio Rancho, if you ask commuters what it’s like to drive that long, busy street, they’ll tell you it’s less than pleasant.
“Just driving up and down Southern, you need a tire alignment,” said John Armijo, a Rio Rancho resident.
Right now, the city is in the middle of a nearly year-long reconstruction project on Southern between 528 and Golf Course Road. Soon, they’ll be able to start phase two of that project, after receiving money from NMDOT.
“We’ve been awarded $800,000 for our ongoing efforts to restore Southern Boulevard,” said Mayor Gregory Hull.
That $800,000 is being added to the $1 million city council had already set aside for the project. Mayor Hull says Southern from 15th to Unser will be simple restorative work, but there’s much more work needed further west. Southern Boulevard between 15th Street and Rainbow requires total reconstruction, and it comes with a price tag of over $1 million.
“Right now, what we need to do is just make sure we keep the road maintained and safe,” said Mayor Hull.
One resident in the area says the reconstruction is necessary after years of wear and tear. “It can’t happen soon enough,” said Armijo.
The city doesn’t have an exact start date for the project, as they still need to come up with about $200,000 before they begin.
The final project will cost about $2.1 million. They say they hope to eventually widen Southern Boulevard from Rainbow to Unser to five lanes, but they don’t anticipate that happening for at least another decade.