Parents: Open drainage tunnels at Albuquerque park too dangerous

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Just as the City of Albuquerque celebrated a grand opening of a new park, complaints started pouring in about a potential safety hazard at that park.

The Sierra Sunset Park opened less than one week ago. But before the park was built, part of it was considered a drainage pond.

“You’re seeing more and more of the newer ponds, as they are designed. They are dual use facilities,” Director of the Municipal Development Department Wilfred Gallegos said.

According to Gallegos, the pond was put into place in case of heavy rain. It goes more than a mile before it lets out at the Amole Drainage Facility. But parents in the neighborhood said the drainage tunnels aren’t safe.

“My son came down the hill to play,” Adrienne Leonard said. “At the same time this guy approached us and said that two kids had gotten lost in them last week, and that one of them ended up at the Walgreens over at 98th and Gibson.”

The city said this is the first complaint it’s received about one of their dual facilities.

Parents want the tunnels closed off.

“Even if we’re watching our kids,” Ruby Lopez said. “Children are children and they do what they do. Parents try to keep up with them, but they run, play and they hide.”

The city said it’s considering putting up grates at the entrance of each tunnel, but there is no timeline on when this could take place.

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