Rio Ran­cho’s res­i­den­tial streets due for a makeover

Albuquerque Journal - - METRO & NM - D’Val West­phal TLC: Ed­i­to­rial page ed­i­tor D’Val West­phal tack­les com­muter is­sues for the Metro area on Mondays. Reach her at 823-3858; dwest­[email protected]­nal.com; or 7777 Jef­fer­son NE, Al­bu­querque, N.M., 87109.

MORE RIO RAN­CHO ROADS NEED SOME Mark emails that “de­spite two dif­fer­ent Rio Ran­cho road im­prove­ment bonds hav­ing passed in re­cent years, and the state cur­rently hav­ing more money than it seems to know what to do with, Rio Ran­cho res­i­den­tial streets through­out the city con­tinue to crack and crum­ble.

“Af­ter vot­ers passed the first bond ap­prox­i­mately three to four years ago, it was re­ported that street re­pairs were com­ing within months. But other than spend­ing mil­lions to re­build por­tions of a few main roads — Sara, Broad­moor and now South­ern — I’ve seen noth­ing hap­pen­ing with re­spect to our smaller res­i­den­tial streets, which are now worse than ever.”

And so Mark asks for a con­struc­tion up­date.

And An­nemarie L. Gar­cía, the city’s com­mu­ni­ca­tions and com­mu­nity en­gage­ment of­fi­cer, has one.

She ex­plains that “roads that are se­lected for the gen­eral obli­ga­tion bond projects are road­ways that serve the most peo­ple and the most traf­fic. Since G.O. Bond funds need to be voter-ap­proved, it is a city of Rio Ran­cho pol­icy de­ci­sion to uti­lize those funds in the most im­pact­ful way — serv­ing the needs of the ma­jor­ity of the pop­u­la­tion.”

Gar­cía adds that, as Mark points out, “in 2016, Rio Ran­cho vot­ers ap­proved $9 mil­lion of gen­eral obli­ga­tion bonds for the pur­pose of road con­struc­tion and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion. At that time, two roads were se­lected for road work: High Re­sort Boule­vard and Sara Road. Those projects were com­pleted un­der bud­get and on-time, and the re­main­ing funds were put to­ward the South­ern Boule­vard Re­con­struc­tion Project. In 2018, vot­ers reaf­firmed their sup­port of the road bond and ap­proved $10 mil­lion of gen­eral obli­ga­tion bonds for road con­struc­tion and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion. Six roads were se­lected, one project was com­pleted in 2018 and three road­ways are cur­rently un­der con­struc­tion.”

Ac­cord­ing to rrnm.gov, G.O. bond road projects in­clude Abrazo Road, Mead­owlark Lane and Rock­away Boule­vard un­der con­struc­tion, Coun­try Club Drive and Sundt Road in de­sign, and Mon­treal Loop, which is com­plete.

“If these projects are com­pleted un­der bud­get,” Gar­cía con­tin­ues,” the gov­ern­ing body will de­ter­mine how that money will be used for ad­di­tional road-re­lated work.”

And that could in­clude the roads Mark is con­cerned about.

Gar­cía goes on to say that “in 2016, the gov­ern­ing body ap­proved a res­o­lu­tion stat­ing that if city rev­enues re­ceived were higher than pro­jected, that money would go to­ward fund­ing neigh­bor­hood road­way re­pairs. The Neigh­bor­hood Streets Im­prove­ment Project — rrnm. gov/neigh­bor­hood — uti­lizes these unan­tic­i­pated funds to crack seal and crack patch res­i­den­tial roads.”

CAN’T WE CLEAN UP N.M.? That re­quest comes from Amy, who emails “Over the years many Jour­nal read­ers have ‘voiced’ their con­cerns about our state’s se­vere prob­lem with trash, lit­ter, eye-sores, etc. This email joins the fray.

“My hope is that you and the Jour­nal have more pull than I do. There MUST be more that can be done by the de­part­ments that han­dle the beau­ti­fi­ca­tion of our road­ways. With the amount of ‘ex­tra’ money that the state has, can a por­tion not be ap­pro­pri­ated to clean­ing up our city, county, and state? I’ve read the Jour­nal’s sto­ries re­gard­ing this, and it seems al­ways to not be enough money, peo­ple, time, etc. My the­ory — it’s not a pri­or­ity. Any given mo­ment of the day, there it is nes­tled in a bush, blow­ing across the road, scat­tered on a me­dian TRASH, TRASH, TRASH.

“Who do I con­tact to RE­ALLY get the job done? Some­one at the top drives the same roads that we do. What aren’t they see­ing that the rest of New Mex­ico is? Enough is enough.”

HOW TO CON­TACT THE POW­ERS THAT

BE: For the city of Al­bu­querque, folks can voice con­cerns to 311. The main num­ber to Ber­nalillo County Pub­lic Works is 848-1500. The New Mex­ico Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion has six dis­tricts; Dis­trict 3 cov­ers Al­bu­querque and that num­ber is 9340354, the oth­ers are all at dot.state.nm.us.

And state rep­re­sen­ta­tives and sen­a­tors are busy lis­ten­ing to con­stituents and in­tro­duc­ing bills in the Round­house. To find out who your state law­mak­ers are, go to nm­legis.gov, click on “leg­is­la­tors,” then on “find my leg­is­la­tor,” and type in your ad­dress to find your state rep­re­sen­ta­tive and se­na­tor. Their con­tact in­for­ma­tion is also on the web­site.

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