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A ‘mountain of crap’ greets drivers from the south

This “unsightly mountain of crap” greets I-25 drivers coming into the metro area from the south. (COURTESY JOHN CARLSON)

WELCOME TO THE METRO AREA – NOT: John Carlson of Bosque Farms emails that’s the distinct message to drivers coming in from the south.

“If one drives into Albuquerque from the north,” he says, “a city appears, a vibrant city – even in these COVID days – showing a vibrancy unequaled in New Mexico. But if one approaches from the south, it’s a different story. From Bosque Farms to Rio Bravo are unsightly mountains of crap. Ugly, sprawling towers of rocky filth that makes one think that those in charge don’t give a hoot about what people see from the south. They only care about the – no pun intended – northern exposure. If lawmakers would stand up to the makers of these disgusting towers, maybe we can have a city that is truly vibrant, from the north and south.”

After a bit of digging with the city road and state highway folks, it turns out the mountain in question is on Bernalillo County property, and its zoning allows it.

Director Tia Bland says, “Employees with the county’s Planning and Development Services Department took a look at the site (and) observed piles of asphalt, concrete and dirt. The material is apparently being recycled. The M-1 and M-2 zoning of this area permit stockpiling this type of material. Planning and Development Services says there does not appear to be any trash or rubbish on the property and the material does not interfere with grading and drainage.”

As for those zoning classifications, Bland says, “M-1 is a light industrial zone. ‘The purpose of this zone is primarily for light manufacturing, light fabricating, warehousing, and wholesale distribution.’ M-2 is a heavy manufacturing zone. ‘The purpose of this zone is to provide for industrial operations for all types except that certain potentially hazardous or nuisance-type industries as specified in Subsection B.3.’ Permissive uses include manufacturing of asphalt, milling, manufacturing and related processing of cement – among many other uses. This is the most permissive use designation in the county.”

COORS STRIPING AND LANDSCAPING UPDATE: Tom Knox has an update on Coors striping. He emails, “I already contacted you about the unfinished striping on Coors north of I-40; they did some, but didn’t finish between Sequoia and Quail. And southbound is really confusing there. They laid out crosswalks and that’s it. Is this how the New Mexico Department of Transportation works with contractors? Lets them do a halfway job? I see they also ruined some of the landscaping at Oxbow.”

Kimberly Gallegos, who handles information for NMDOT’s District 3 office, checked with a maintenance engineer and says, “The striping is in progress. NMDOT is addressing several project locations at the same time, (and the) contractor does not have enough resources to accomplish all work at all locations at this time.”

As for the landscaping, “As much as we try to take precautions to preserve ‘features’ during construction and reconstruction, the landscape matter at the location mentioned is unfortunate, yet at times it is an unavoidable consequence. I presume that they are referring to some roadway millings ending up in a very small portion of landscaping adjacent to the roadway.”

As for who is responsible for repairs, Gallegos says, “Landscape permittees are notified in the landscape permit itself: All costs and expenses, which may be incurred in landscaping and maintaining the median divider or roadside, shall be borne by the applicant. In the event the installations or removal of the landscaping, maintenance, or removal of the landscaping shall also be the responsibility of the applicant. It was not a malicious or careless act.”

Editorial page editor D’Val Westphal tackles commuter issues for the Metro area on Mondays. Reach her at 823-3858;; or 7777 Jefferson NE, Albuquerque, N.M., 87109.

Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

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