ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The City of Albuquerque is trying to get drivers used to the overhaul of a major street, before the overhaul happens. If you’ve driven along Rio Grande by Old Town you’ve seen the temporary barriers. Some drivers are going right over them.
“Right now on Rio Grande between Aspen and Pueblo Bonito, you’re going to see we have temporary delineators,” said Johnny Chandler, Public Information Officer with the Department of Municipal Development. “Those temporary delineators are to help drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists understand that sometime in the future, there will be cement medians at that location.”
The city shelled out $7,200 for those posts and has extras on hand to replace the damaged ones. KRQE crews saw three damaged delineators Wednesday alone. Those barriers will be there for the next six to eight months. That’s when crews will install two cement medians on that stretch of Rio Grande between Old Town and I-40 at a cost of about $140,000 to keep drivers from illegally crossing the center lines.
You can also expect new striping, signals, and redone sidewalks at some point. People in the area know something needs to be done.
“I want the street to be more safe. I do see an accident out there every few months – somebody will drive into somebody,” said Paul Mahr, owner of Casa Talavera. “This seems like the gateway to Albuquerque, New Mexico, a lot of people only come to Old Town and it should be as beautiful and safe as possible.” Although he’s in favor of the project, he is concerned the construction could scare customers away.
The city wants to hear the community’s thoughts on the median project as well. Those with opinions are asked to contact 3-1-1.
City Councilor Isaac Benton is spearheading the eventual makeover of Rio Grande from I-40 to the Country Club area. Benton told KRQE their next focus is improving pedestrian crossing on Rio Grande in Old Town just north of Central.