Traffic on Paseo Del Norte is prone to backup as Albuquerque’s westside continues to grow. Now, state lawmakers have stepped in to help the city fix the problem.
Drivers have been complaining about traffic on Paseo Del Norte for a long time.
“It is a little bit of a nuisance. I don’t like experiencing traffic. Everybody gets a little bit of road rage and it’s not the best, especially here in NM, not the best drivers,” Brennan Cook told KRQE News 13 in January.
“They’re fighting the traffic to turn in so yeah, it needs to be expanded,” says Bertha “B” Almanzar.
Now, City Councilor Cynthia Borrego says the solution is just around the corner.
“The city has received $2.1 million to look at the expansion of Paseo Del Norte to four lanes,” she says.
That money comes from capital outlay funding after the city went to state lawmakers asking for help. As a westside resident, Senator Sander Rue says he was more than happy to be a part of this decision.
“I want that road to start as soon as possible. So let’s get the design and the planning done,” says Senator Sander Rue (R) Albuquerque.
Borrego says the problem with traffic starts at Kimmick Drive, when Paseo goes from four lanes to two, all the way to Rainbow Boulevard.
“We have issues that are related to safety because the police and fire vehicles cannot get through,” she says.
Because this is such a big stretch of road, Borrego says it will have to be done in phases. This money will be used to design and acquire some private land around Paseo to start the project.
However, there’s still one big hurdle.
“The challenge we have now is finding the $15 million to do the construction,” Borrego says.
Like other frustrated drivers, Senator Rue wants to get this project done as soon as possible.
“I look forward to them coming back this next session and maybe talking about the next phase and what we can do to help,” he says.
The city won’t be getting the $2.1 million until January. Then, it will be combined with an additional $750,000 from the city’s budget to begin the design phase.
Councilor Borrego anticipates the entire project will cost around $20 million and will take 10-15 yeras to finish.