City blames vandals for damaging Bosque riverside boardwalk

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Right in the heart of Albuquerque’s Bosque, a popular riverside overlook that’s only a few years old is already coming apart. 

The city says its working to repair broken pieces of the boardwalk, but administrators are blaming the continued problems on vandals. 

The 150-foot boardwalk sits near Tingley Beach, offering one of only a few fully accessible riverside panoramic views of the Rio Grande. 

Several people were out at the boardwalk Monday afternoon in near 100-degree heat, admiring the river. 

“I like the view, the river, I came down here at sunset a couple days ago,” said Jacob Wingard, who was visiting from Pennsylvania. 

“It’s relaxing, definitely a getaway,” said Adrianna Barrera of Albuquerque. 

The boardwalk was built with federal funding by the Army Corps of Engineers Albuquerque District in 2005. The heavy-duty structure is made of a metal frame and dense plastic baseboards and railing. 

While it was built to last, many are now seeing that the deck no longer has the “brand new” look. In some places, railing boards are missing or coming loose. 

In another large section along the dock, the railing is in pieces on the edge of the river bank. 

KRQE News 13 contacted the city about the boardwalk Monday. The city says while it didn’t build the structure, the Parks and Recreation Department’s Open Space Division is now responsible for the maintenance of it. 

The city says the problems aren’t because of shoddy work, but rather some of the visitors at the dock. 

“Unfortunately, we’ve had some vandalism problems out here recently and some of it has been pretty consistent,” said Brandon Gibson, acting associate director for the city’s Open Space division. 

While Gibson says the city is trying to keep up and has done “a lot of work” to maintain the structure, he also says vandals have been persistent. 

Photos provided to KRQE News 13 show the railing has been broken at least once before. The city says vandals have also forced the city to swap out a series of wooden benches with more vandal resistant black metal benches. 

Gibson says crews are continuing to work on maintaining the boardwalk. He says the city is also working to beef up some of the railings. 

“Not only make the repairs but to reinforce the structure to hopefully prevent more damage.”

More recently, the city reinforced the railing with wooden studs that were mounted into the ground. The city says it’s planning on doing the same work for the rest of the railing. 

However, Gibson says the city needs more help from Bosque users watching out over the area. 

“When you have people out on this beautiful deck overlooking the Bosque, we hope that they stay vigilant as well and keep an eye on our Bosque,” said Gibson. 

The city says it hopes to make all the repairs to the railing by the end of the week. 

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