ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Joyce and Russ Cox try and ride their bikes alongside the Alameda Drain in the North Valley every day.
Sometimes they spot money, often times one of them will end up with a flat tire, but they’ll always see plenty of weeds and trash.
“Over in that ditch there was a big water meter,” said Joyce Cox. “Someone finally got it after about a week.”
Beyond the trash, there’s always the obstacle of the rough roads.
“It gets pretty muddy when we try to ride all the time and it rains you know,” said Russ Cox.
They”re experience is not unique. “The valley has been like this for a long time,” said Timothy Gabriel Orona, another frequent biker of these ditch-side roads.
“Really this area from a trail perspective is a really underserved area,” said Nolan Bennett, construction manager with Bernalillo County Public Works.
Bennett is part of an area-wide collaborative effort with AMAFCA, MRGCD, Bernalillo County and the City of Albuquerque to create a master plan for a stretch of the Alameda Drain that runs nine miles from the south edge of the Sandia Pueblo to I-40. Currently the city has a paved trail that runs along a section of that ditch along Matthew Avenue, but the road stops at 2nd Street.
That master plan is looking at water features along the drain as well as something to majorly green up the area.
“Right now it’s pretty brown and we’re looking to liven that up with some landscaping, some different features along the way,” said Bennett. “We are still getting input on what people want to see.”
There’s a Field Planning Workshop that will look at different sections of the Alameda Drain on January 30th starting at 9 a.m. The Alameda Drain and Trail Master Plan is expected to be finalized by the summer.
Right now, Bernalillo County says it has about $1.5 million in funding to work with. That money will go towards paving a trail along the Alameda Drain from Montaño to as far north as the money will let them go. Other funding is being sought. Bennett anticipates construction on part of the trail could start as soon as the fall of 2017.