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Proposal might go to ‘wish list’

COORS GETTING MORE TURN ROOM AT LA ORILLA: Ryan emails he “was wondering about the current construction on the median at Coors and La Orilla, near Sagebrush. Is this median improvement or is it turn-lane lengthening for a longer eastbound turn toward Sagebrush?

It seems to be a possibly lengthy turn lane.”

The answer would be B.

Phil Gallegos, who handles information for the New Mexico Department of Transportation’s District 3 office, says “at the N.M. 45 (Coors) and La Orilla intersection, the extension of the southbound left-turn lane is being constructed by the private developer. It was identified that traffic from their development generates the extensive traffic, and thus the design and construction was their responsibility.”

CAN THE BYPASS AND ELLISON GET SOME, TOO? Ryan also wants to know “if there are any plans to do the same at northbound Coors Bypass and westbound Ellison? That stretch gets very backed up during rush hour, causing the left lane of traffic to stay stopped while the left-turn light cycles. Any help here would be greatly needed.”

And dependent on tax dollars.

Gallegos says regarding improvements at Coors and Ellison, “it all comes down to funding. Responsibility for that portion of Coors was recently given to the state through a road-exchange agreement with the city of Albuquerque.”


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That said, NMDOT “will perform a traffic count at N.M. 45 and Ellison to identify the needed length of the northbound dedicated left-turn lane, but then that request will go to the maintenance ‘wish list’ for projects when/if funding becomes available. It could also be an option as a construction project and that would need to be brought up in the next Transportation Improvements Projects cycle. Stay tuned.”

Assistant editorial page editor D’Val Westphal tackles commuter issues for the Metro area on Mondays and West Siders and Rio Ranchoans on Saturdays. Reach her at 823-3858;; P.O. Drawer J, Albuquerque, N.M. 87103; or go to to read previous columns and join in the conversation.