RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s a two-lane road build almost thirty years ago, and has never been upgraded. Now, the City of Rio Rancho says the stretch of roadway cannot handle the amount of daily traffic on it, so they’re taking the first steps to change that.

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A Rio Rancho spokesperson says Idalia Road was built in the ’90s, and as Rio Rancho has continued to grow, so has the traffic. The city now says it’s time to update and widen it.

“This is a heavily trafficked road,” said Mayor Gregg Hull, at a council meeting on June 24. “This type of project is really exciting. It shows that we’re continuing to make great board progress on getting the roads in the community addressed,” Mayor Hull said.

Idalia Road from Northern Boulevard, north to Iris Road, is a narrow two-lane roadway with no sidewalks, curbs, lighting or drainage. Last month, the Rio Rancho City Council approved a contract for design and corridor study, part of the redesign will include widening the road.

A firm has been awarded a $1.4-million contract to study traffic flows and design the new roadway. All of the cost for this part of the project is from federal grants. The project engineer says one of the main priorities will be fixing the drainage problems they’ve seen along that stretch of road.

“We’re going to be looking pretty significantly at this design to make sure we can improve drainage in the area, as well as make it safe for the schools and the traveling public,” said Arnell Freidt, the project engineer.

Because part of the project is federally funded, the study and design are expected to take about two years. There’s no word yet on how much the actual cost is. They are currently in the design phase. The city said Thursday evening that it will not go to a bond for voter approval and a funding source hasn’t yet been identified.