City eyeing Westside projects to cut down on congestion

west-side-traffic

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – With more and more people living on Albuquerque’s Westside, the city’s looking at a number of projects over the coming years to cut down on traffic congestion.

A list of priority projects for the next six years could be signed off on by city council on Monday evening. A number of those focus on the Westside.

Among them:

  • A $35 million full access interchange for I-40 and 98th Street
  • More money to acquire right of way for an eventual I-40 to Rio Rancho connection on Paseo del Volcan
  • Widening a number of roads including Unser Boulevard between Rainbow and Paradise as well as Westside Boulevard between Golf Course and NM 528.
  • Adding several Park & Rides along Coors Boulevard

Not in the plan is a new Albuquerque river crossing, which would help carry more traffic back and forth across the Rio Grande during peak times.

“Constructing one of these major facilities costs a lot of money and right now we are limited in terms of the amount of federal dollars that come into this region,” said Steven Montiel, a transportation planner with MRCOG.

Because of that, the city’s turning to transit, trying to encourage more people to ride the bus.

“We’re realizing that transit’s becoming more important in this day and age, for people to take transit as a viable option,” said Montiel.

Also on the list are projects that are favorites of Mayor Richard J. Berry like a 50-mile bike loop around the city or expanding the Albuquerque Rapid Transit Project on Central Avenue from Tramway to Atrisco Vista.

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