New drainage ditch helps with flood prone part of Albuquerque

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It’s the season for rain in New Mexico, and in Albuquerque, some parts of the city like the South Valley are prone to flooding. One of the worst areas is along Second Street. 

“You had water that came up over Second Street and washed out a house,” said Jerry Lovato. 

He’s the Executive Engineer with AMAFCA, the area’s flood control agency, and said that’s part of the reason they put in a drainage ditch within the last year. The nearby channels are also being redone.

“Ultimately this facility will drain into Valle de Oro, it will ultimately drain into the Rio Grande,” said Lovato.  

It’s already doing its job. 

“We’re really pleased because we don’t get as many complaints about flooding,” he said.  

Most of the area south of Rio Bravo doesn’t have a storm drain system, according to Lovato. 

“A lot of folks here have to pay flood insurance. By putting in the flood control facilities, we can reduce floodplain and make it a little better for economic development in this area,” he said.  

However, he said there are still areas that need work. 

“There’s a lot of sediment that still ends up on Broadway but we’re working with the NMDOT,” said Lovato.  

Some relief is coming from the Department of Transportation’s I-25, Rio Bravo Interchange Project, with a detention pond. 

“It’s meant to help the Rio Bravo interchange just with drainage issues and any kind of flooding within that area,” said Kimberly Gallegos, a spokesperson for District III.  

Although not the intent of the project, it’s an added benefit so hopefully these issues don’t keep happening. 

“Rio Bravo and Broadway will definitely see an improvement,” said Lovato.  

The stormwater captured around the interchange will be cleaned out before it enters into the flood control system. 

AMAFCA’s work along Second Street will last about six years, and the Rio Bravo Interchange work should be done by next summer. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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