ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – People fought it for years and now a very busy intersection will get a very controversial makeover. People tried to kill the project a few years ago but now a roundabout is going to be installed at the intersection of Rio Grande and Candelaria.
“It’s an unfriendly intersection, unsafe, been quite a few accidents a record of accidents with injuries over the years,” said City Councilor Isaac Benton.
That’s Councilor Benton is supporting the idea of putting a roundabout at the intersection of Rio Grande and Candelaria to cut down on the crashes and time waiting at red lights.
“The roundabout was recommended by a number of consultants and ultimately was recommended as the safest option,” said Councilor Benton.
The project has met resistance over the years. The previous city councilor in District 2 tried to pull the plug on it all together four years ago, saying 60% of people didn’t want it.
Council moved ahead and signed off on it.
“Technically it’s in the design phase. It’s really completely designed, it’s 95% designed,” said Councilor Benton.
So far, this project is getting mixed reactions from people.
Matt Spader rides his bike around the area at least three times a week and doesn’t understand why there aren’t more roundabouts in the city.
“It allows the traffic to continually flow. There’s no backup of traffic. There’s no waiting,” said Spader.
While Michael Pick has been working in the area since 2001 and says the roundabout would only add to the existing problems at the intersection.
“I don’t think they truly understand how the roundabout works and I think it would cause more problems than help traffic flow,” said Pick.
The million dollar project is expected to start next year and be completed by the end of 2018.
Councilor Benton would also like to see a roundabout in Old Town at Rio Grande and Mountain.
According to the city, this would only be the third true roundabout in Albuquerque. The others are at 8th and Central in Downtown and where Menaul meets Indian School in the North Valley.