Improvements could be coming to neglected stretch of Route 66

It used to be a barren stretch of Route 66 in Albuquerque. In recent years, development is booming along Central on the West Mesa. Now the city wants to make sure the stretch of Central can keep up with the growth. 

Central from Unser to 98th Street is about to get a facelift and residents in the area say it’s about time. 

That strip of Central doesn’t look like the rest of Route 66. There are no sidewalks, landscaping or bike lanes and are very few street lights.

Residents in the area feel like this is a forgotten part of the city. However, with so much new development coming to the area, like the Unser Crossing project, city council wants to give that stretch of street some much-needed TLC. 

They’ll be adding medians, landscaping and lighting. One of their main goals is to make the area ADA compliant. 

City council should sign off soon on spending $300,000 on the design and another $2 million on construction. 

City Councilman Ken Sanchez says once the construction starts, it could be complete within 15 months. He also says he hopes once that project is complete, they can continue moving west past 98th Street and up the hill. At this time, there are no plans for that yet. 

In August the city is going to begin landscaping the medians west of Unser, that’s part of a separate project. 

The city is on the final stretch of the Central and Unser overhaul. The $5 million project to redo that intersection has been going on for a year, but should be done by August. 

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