A stretch of Coors Boulevard with a disproportionately high rate of serious crashes — including at least six pedestrian fatalities since 2015 — is on track for some federal help.
A new U.S. Department of Transportation grant program has awarded Bernalillo County $6.3 million to upgrade Coors in the South Valley.
The grant will cover much of the $8 million in improvements planned for the stretch between Gun Club and Blake roads — a project intended to reduce or eliminate pedestrian deaths and serious injuries.
The two-mile stretch of Coors saw 685 crashes between 2015 and 2019, according to the county’s grant application. Eight of them were fatal, including six pedestrian deaths.
“Most of the roadway has no curb, gutter, sidewalks, bike lanes or medians and limited lighting,” the application says.
The speed limit (55 mph) is also “too high,” the county wrote, citing a recent roadway safety audit from the New Mexico Department of Transportation.
Changes planned include lowering the speed limit and reducing lane widths, the county said in a news release. The project will also add protected bike lanes and sidewalks, raise medians and improve cross walks.
NMDOT and the city of Albuquerque partnered with the county on the grant. They are also helping fund the changes.
The city and county will contribute $800,000 each, while NMDOT will provide $100,000 worth of in-kind assistance.
The federal funds will come via the new “Safe Streets and Roads for All” grant program.