ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The new river crossing is named after Gail Ryba, a cycling activist.
Democrats and Republicans, West Siders and East Siders agreed on something Monday: Gail Ryba would be proud.
Bicyclists from all over town, and politicians from across the political spectrum, celebrated the opening of Albuquerque’s latest river crossing — a $5 million bike and pedestrian bridge, just north of Interstate 40.
The bridge “is another example of good government at work,” Mayor Richard Berry said.
It’s named after Ryba, the founder of Albuquerque’s first bicycle advocacy group. She died of cancer earlier this year.
“She was someone who brought out the best in all of us and represented the best in New Mexico,” U.S. Rep. Martin Heinrich said.
Berry was joined by a host of other officials, including Heinrich, D-N.M.; city councilors Isaac Benton, Debbie O’Malley and Dan Lewis; and former Gov. Toney Anaya, who oversees New Mexico’s stimulus funding.
Heinrich said the bridge is a critical link in Albuquerque’s 400 miles of bike and walking trails, which have earned national recognition. The north-south Bosque Trail is now linked easily to the West Side.
Federal stimulus and city funding paid for the project.
Ryba’s husband, Thomas Robey, said she would have been proud of the progress of the local bicycling community.