Construction underway at Balloon Fiesta Park

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque is still months away from this year’s Balloon Fiesta and construction is already underway for major improvement projects at Balloon Fiesta Park. The work is just ramping up, but come Fiesta, officials say you’ll likely have an easier time parking. Plus, they say it’s what you won’t find at the park that will make it safer for balloonists.

A cloud of dust and heavy construction equipment mark the spot of a future parking lot for staff and volunteers. Crews also began building a new bridge over the north diversion channel.

“This is just something to free up more space,” said Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Representative Tom Garrity.

He says over the last year, the park lost close to 2,000 parking spaces as a result of new construction. This, despite many visitors saying parking is always an issue.

Garrity isn’t sure how many spaces this new lot will free up, but he says the area will be reserved for volunteers and staff RV’s.

“The RV spaces for the public will remain the same,” said Garrity.

The new bridge, set for completion in September, will allow access to that RV and parking area. Yet, there’s another difference you may notice this year.

“The radio towers used to be just over that mound,” Garrity said.

Garrity says the towers were removed to make way for the new lot, but he says their absence will also make for safer take-offs and landings for balloon pilots.

Some other improvements include upgrading RV utility systems and resurfacing parking lots. Work on the bridge will extend through August.

The Balloon Fiesta begins on October 7.

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