Budget is tight as city streets need $569M in repairs

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M (KRQE) – From potholes to uneven roads and spiderweb cracking, Albuquerque roads need a lot of work.

“I usually drive on San Mateo and it’s pretty bad, and also on Gibson,” said Ethan Delora.

Drivers are very familiar with the problems and know they’re often in for a bumpy ride.

“Seeing a lot of potholes, and I mean my car’s really old so driving on them, doesn’t help at all,” said Delora.

Maintaining 6,000 miles of driving lanes across the city, the Department of Municipal Development isn’t blind to the problem.

“What we do on a periodic basis is we’ll go out and we’ll go ahead and evaluate the streets and the conditions of all the roads,” said Mark Matsko with the Department Municipal Development. He said the department breaks down the roads into four groups. Among them, good, fair, poor, and very poor, to determine which roads are the priority.

He said Muncipal Development only gets around $15 million a year to fix roads.

“Based off our last assessment we’re looking at about $569 million worth of needs,” he said.

That can mean a band-aid approach on some needy streets, like this grading seen around the city, to help buy some time.

“We’re trying to preserve what we have existing, so it doesn’t degrade so much that we have to replace the whole thing,” said Motsko.

That has the city weighing different factors when deciding which streets are priority.

“Sometimes it’s not the worst condition road, sometimes it’s a road that a lot more people travel on, knowing that those less traveled roads, we’ll get to them eventually,” said Motsko.

The city gets some of its road funds from a quarter-cent transportation tax, which expires in two years. Of course, city council could vote in January to put a two-cent gas tax on the ballot. That would raise almost $5 million a year.

The Municipal Development Department keeps a series of maps that show the proposed roads that could be getting re-done over the next few years.

View Maps: ABQ Roads under consideration for roadwork

 

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