ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Old Route 66 is about to get new life. The City of Albuquerque is driving full-speed ahead with a long-term action plan to revitalize the 15-mile stretch of the iconic Mother Road.
“We’re lucky. We’re lucky in Albuquerque that we have the longest urban stretch of Route 66 in the country. People love nostalgia. We love Central Avenue. We love Route 66. It’s a big part of our city. It’s a big pulse for our city,” said Mayor R.J. Berry.
The city hopes more people take in this cultural asset.
“We want to get people off the freeway and spend more time driving through Albuquerque,” Berry said.
The plan’s goal is to rev up the economic engine up and down Route 66 and to modernize the infrastructure but still maintain that old historic glow and traditions that keep the vintage roadway famous.
“We really want the private sector to come in and invest their money along the corridor, and to do that, we need to make sure that we’re making the public sector investments,” Berry said.
Berry says the plan, approved unanimously by city councilors Tuesday evening, does not have an overall price tag but instead sets a framework.
“We’ve got a million dollars of taxpayer approved funds that are going into the fiber optics backbone now. Bus rapid transit will need to be put together between state and mostly federal resources, if we can get that done,” Berry said.
The plan will build on assets including Route 66 motels, the BioPark and historic districts and would include partnerships with the community and other agencies.
“A lot of the facade improvements and things come from Main Street programs. We have state legislators and city councilors who have districts all up and down Central,” Berry said.