ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The City of Albuquerque broke ground on a project Wednesday that will be widening the small stretch of Westside Boulevard from two to four lanes, between Golf Course and Highway 528. The purpose of the project was to ease congestion on Albuquerque’s west side and Rio Rancho.
Officials have been working on this project since 2015. They said it’s the first step in their efforts to improve traffic as a whole on the westside. “You find a lot of these circulation roadways that are needing to be expanded or to be improved in some way and we are looking to improve the entire circulation of the westside,” said CABQ Council President Cynthia Borrego.
The City of Albuquerque is funding the $10 million project with help from a federal grant. Along with the lane expansion, they also plan on adding bike lanes, sidewalks, and more lighting. City officials said on average, about 19,000 drivers are using that road every day causing backups with people trying to get from 528 to Unser. With the expansion, the road will be capable of seeing up to 30,000 drivers each day.
KRQE spoke with neighbors in the seven-bar neighborhood off Westside Boulevard. They say the expansion is definitely necessary.
“It does need to be expanded, I just can’t figure out how they’re going to do it without causing a lot of problems in this whole area,” said Sue Frank. “Construction always takes so much longer than they say it will.”
Construction is expected to start in the coming weeks. The city is planning to expand the roadway into an existing vacant dirt area on the north side of Westside Boulevard.