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Bicycle Bridge Over Rio Grande To Be Dedicated

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — It will be named for cycling advocate Gail Ryba

A newly completed bicycle and pedestrian bridge linking the Bosque Trail with trails west of the Rio Grande will be dedicated to longtime cycling advocate Gail Ryba.

Mayor Richard Berry and several city councilors will attend the ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony at 1:45 p.m. Monday at the west end of Gabaldon Place just east of the Rio Grande, immediately north of Interstate 40.

City councilors in June approved a resolution sponsored by Councilor Isaac Benton to name the bridge the “Gail Ryba Memorial Bridge.”

Ryba, who died of cancer in May, was known in the Albuquerque cycling community as the founder of the city’s first bicycle advocacy group, Greater Albuquerque Spokes People, which became BikeABQ.

While working for Sandia National Laboratories, Ryba co-founded the Sandia Bicycle Commuters Group. She also served on the Greater Albuquerque Bicycling Advisory Committee, which helps advise city staff on bicycle transportation and planning issues.

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“She was really good at motivating people,” former BikeABQ President Julie Luna said.

Luna said the new bridge will provide a critical link for cyclists living on the West Side to cross the river to reach Old Town, Downtown and other trails east of the Rio Grande.

She said the only other bicycle/pedestrian river crossing is the old Alameda Road bridge. To have a river crossing in such a strategic location is “truly something to celebrate,” Luna said.

Construction of the 0.9-mile section of trail that includes the bridge began in October. The total cost of the project was $6.9 million; of that, about $5.3 million came from federal stimulus funds.

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