Deep ditches along Central sidewalk create safety hazard for businesses

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – One of the most pedestrian friendly places in Albuquerque hasn’t been so friendly lately. Construction crews have left three foot pits in the sidewalk on Central across from the University of New Mexico, with no tape or barricades.

It’s an accident just waiting to happen.

The ditches along the sidewalk at Central and Yale are so deep, an Albuquerque Rapid Transit construction worker can fit half his body inside of it.

“It’s very easy to fall,” said Adrianna Jimenez.

Jimenez is a waitress at Bandido Hideout. The restaurant shares the same sidewalk as the ditches. She says they have been there ever since she started working there.

“I have three months here, and I have seen this construction for three months,” she said.

During those three months, Jimenez says it’s been a safety hazard for everyone.

“No, I don’t feel safe because there’s a lot of traffic and a lot of people working. When we want to walk, it’s not too easy,” she said.

It wasn’t until KRQE News 13 made a call to the city that ART construction workers began putting barriers around the ditches.

According to ART spokesperson Joanie Griffin, the ditches were left open because the crew  needed to pour concrete in them to install new light poles. Once that was completed, the barriers would go up.

However, Jimenez says the barriers went up a little too late.

“They need to be careful, you know? Because there are a lot of people here, especially the students in the front too,” she said.

The Mayor’s Office says they’re not sure who would have been liable — the city or the construction company — if someone had fallen into one of the ditches and hurt themself.

However, the city says the new barriers have taken care of the issue.

The sidewalk and light poles should be completed within a couple of weeks.

Those new light poles are a part of the Central makeover, connected to the ART project.

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