RIO RANCHO, N.M. — The Albuquerque City Council put the brakes on a $4 million project to widen a portion of Alameda Boulevard west of Interstate 25 by approving a resolution this week calling for a major study of the east-west corridor used daily by thousands of West Side commuters.
The resolution, approved 8-0 on Monday, declared a moratorium on a planned project that would have widened from four lanes to six a half-mile stretch of Alameda from I-25 to Jefferson NE. Councilor Pat Davis was absent.
Available federal and city funding also would pay for design work to widen Alameda as far west as Edith.
The resolution also directs the city to undertake a “major investment study” of the four-mile Alameda traffic corridor from I-25 to Coors, west of the Rio Grande.
“That’s a road that really needs to be planned,” said Councilor Brad Winter, who sponsored the resolution. “You can’t just piecemeal this. Let’s get the money and do it right.”
Neighborhood leaders had expressed concern, Winter said.
At a public meeting in August, neighborhood leaders expressed a variety of concerns about plans to widen Alameda.
Some said that if the road is widened only to Jefferson NE, a traffic bottleneck would form where the road narrows from four lanes to two. Others said the project would damage the community atmosphere of the area.
Alameda is a key Rio Grande crossing that carries up to 35,000 vehicles a day, serving commuters from the West Side, Rio Rancho and Corrales. Large trucks are allowed to use Alameda, but are barred from Montaño and Paseo del Norte.
A regional study is needed because Alameda encompasses land in both the City of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County, Winter said. The corridor also serves large numbers of Rio Rancho commuters, he said.
“The neighborhoods have a lot of concerns, and the businesses, too,” said Winter, who represents the area. “They think that if we’re going to do this, let’s do it correctly, and I agree with them.”