ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The work on the Rio Bravo Bridge is causing a nightmare for commuters. It’s sending drivers over to Bridge Boulevard to get across the river and that busy street is still waiting for an overhaul that’s been talked about for years. Construction on the eastbound section of the Rio Bravo Bridge.
“We knew it would affect us, we didn’t realize the effect it would be. It’s way more than we thought,” says Lawrence Otero.
Since one of the few ways out of the South Valley is shut down, drivers are clogging up Isleta to get to Bridge and make their way downtown and beyond.
“As a relief route, it’s obviously caused a lot of delays earlier in the morning and throughout the day. Up at 3:30 or 4, it will be this backed up, which it never was prior to Rio Bravo starting,” Otero says.
Those who live and work in the area say the recent traffic mess has highlighted the outdated setup of Bridge Boulevard. “The south valley seems to constantly be on the short end of the stick when it comes to infrastructure improvements,” says David Idinopulos.
Back in 2013, Bernalillo County commissioners decided to move forward with an overhaul of the bridge corridor but nothing has happened since. “Potentially doing a roundabout I know they have been talking about repaving it potentially widening it,” Idinopulos says.
County officials say the project was delayed because design changes were made to comply with the most recent DOT guidelines. They tell us construction will finally start this summer. Drivers say they’ll believe it when they see it.
“We’ve never seen it happen, maybe this is the year it finally gets done, you’ll forgive me if I’m skeptical,” Idinopulos says.
No word on how long it will take to re-do the bridge boulevard corridor. The Rio Bravo Bridge construction should be wrapped up by the end of next week.