Central repaving covers some, but not all problem areas

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Part of one of Albuquerque’s well-known and well-traveled main roads is getting refreshed. Crews are working to repave a chunk of Central Avenue, but with more of the road needing attention, why is the city stopping short?

The city has scraped up about three inches off the top of Central between I-25 and University Boulevard. Next, it will repave that section.

While the road needs fixing further east, the city says money, bus rapid transit plans and other worse city roads are keeping them focused on re-doing just a small section of Central.

Parts of Central could be considered some the roughest roads in Albuquerque according to many drivers who spoke to News 13 on Tuesday, offering comments like “it’s horrible” and “it’s pretty bumpy.”

One of the roughest chunks is the intersection of Central and University where many cars can feel a series of bucks and bumps through while driving.

“It’s pretty bad right up there,” another driver told KRQE News 13 on Tuesday.

However, all of that bumpy roadway drivers love to hate along Central should soon be a thing of the past.

“The ride should be a lot smoother now,” said Wilfred Gallegos, deputy director of Albuquerque’s Municipal Development Department.

Central is now getting ripped up and repaved from I-25 to University. The road will soon get a new coat of asphalt that should keep it feeling smooth for four years, according to city officials.

The city says the half-million dollar project is needed now to make sure they don’t have to spend a lot more money soon.

“The next step if we don’t do some of these types of projects is the pavement will literally fall apart and then it’s a major reconstruct,” said Gallegos.

But while road damage continues east on Central through Nob Hill, there’s a clear point where the work stops, a large cut off where the city has placed a sign that says “BUMP.”

The city says it stopped paving east of University for several reasons. First is limited money for roads.

“We can only tackle so many at a time,” said Gallegos.

According to Gallegos is that Central east of University is also in better shape than other city roads.

“These roads are all rated against each other city wide,” said Gallegos.

There’s another factor though that’s even bigger. That’s the future of the city’s bus system. ABQ Ride is still trying to figure out how the proposed “bus rapid transit” (BRT) system will affect Central’s future lane configuration.

“If they’re running it in the medians it’s one thing, if they’re running it on the outside lanes, it’s a different story,” said Gallegos.

Until a choice is made, further paving on Central may have to wait.

“When you start looking at major projects like that those do come in to play, I mean, if we know something is coming up,” said Gallegos.
ABQ Ride is hoping to have a rough idea of how the BRT will affect Central come October, when public meetings begin.

The city says crews should be laying the asphalt on Central between I-25 and University in the next two weeks and finished by late September.

McKinney road between Forest Hills and Academy, also University between MLK and Central are two other roads that will be repaved soon rather than Central east of University.

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