Rio Rancho’s residential streets due for a makeover

MORE RIO RANCHO ROADS NEED SOME TLC: 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 934-0354, 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.

Editorial page editor D’Val Westphal tackles commuter issues for the Metro area on Mondays. Reach her at 823-3858; dwestphal@abqjournal.com; or 7777 Jefferson NE, Albuquerque, N.M., 87109.

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