ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Rio Bravo bridge replacement project won’t happen as soon as anticipated; for now, the Department of Transportation project is on hold. A new bridge will cost about $75 million, but the NMDOT only has $10 million set aside for it. In the meantime, crews are making smaller improvements to the aging bridge. 

Three years ago, the state’s Department of Transportation did some work on the Rio Bravo bridge eastbound. “Since then we’ve been periodically checking the bridge because, as you know, all of our bridges have a life cycle; and usually that’s anywhere between 50-75 years, some a little bit more,” explained Kimberly Gallegos. 

This was supposed to be the year the Rio Bravo bridge would be replaced, but the NMDOT simply doesn’t have the money to do it. For now, construction crews are repairing what they can so people can still use the bridge – costing about $400,000. Gallegos says, “we’re actually repairing joints right now. If motorists see the barrels up and see the workers out there, they are doing the work under the bridge.”

Despite the project’s being on hold, the NMDOT says a new bridge is important to accommodate the thousands of drivers coming through the area. “The south valley is booming, as you’ve noticed, there’s a ton of businesses that have opened up in that area and actually new homes that have gone up in that area as well,” Gallegos continued.

There are also some projects a little higher up on the list of priorities for the NMDOT. The Rio Bravo bridge replacement likely won’t see the light of day until after Montgomery and Gibson get new interchanges on I-25. 

The current work on the bridge should be done in June. The department is holding off on starting the work every day until the morning rush hour is done. The department will be requesting money needed for the Rio Bravo bridge replacement during next year’s legislative session.