A massive undertaking is set to alleviate traffic and bring new life to an Albuquerque area community teeming with cultural diversity.
During rush hour, Bridge Boulevard near the Rio Grande is packed.
“It’s the third most congested corridor,” said Diane Sholtis, Project Engineer for Bernalillo County’s Public Works Department.
“It carries a lot of traffic — 25,000 to 30,000 vehicles a day,” said Richard Meadows, Technical Planning Manager for Bernalillo County’s Public Works Department.
It’s not slowing down anytime soon. That’s why Bernalillo County wants to revitalize three miles of the busy Bridge Blvd. corridor from 8th Street to Coors Blvd.
KRQE News 13 caught up with Meadows and Sholtis Wednesday, ahead of a community meeting at 5:30 p.m. regarding ‘Phase 2’ of the project.
The project is more than 20 years in the making, as part of South Valley plan adopted by the county. From that plan, the Bridge redevelopment project was born in 2013.
“How can we attract new businesses, new investment to the corridor and bring back those small businesses that you used to see along Bridge, you know, 30-40 years ago,” Meadows said of the project.
It proposes bike lanes, widened sidewalks, new zoning, a facelift for businesses in the area and, of course, changes to the road. There’s everything from landscaped medians to adding additional lanes to roundabouts.
“We’re hoping by late summer, early fall, to actually have boots on the ground, working,” Sholtis said.
It’s a big project at $24 million, nearly all federally funded. So, the county wants the community’s input every step of the way.
“We’re shooting for, ‘Hey! Take a look around, the South Valley is vital. They have life there. Let’s bring it back. Hey, come and see it because you’ve missed it,'” Sholtis said. “When we add landscaping and new light fixtures, we’re just enhancing what’s already there.”