City Councilor Debbie O’Malley will introduce legislation on Monday to dedicate $20 million from the City of Albuquerque’s quarter-cent Transportation Infrastructure Tax for the design and construction of I-25 and Paseo del Norte Interchange improvements and the development of an arterial street over the Domingo Baca Arroyo.
“The successful completion of this project is crucial to reducing congestion in the northern part of the City and the metropolitan area,” said O’Malley. “When I-25 and Paseo jam up at rush hour, commuters from Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, Bernalillo and Placitas all suffer the consequences of either lost time with their families or clocking in late at work,” added O’Malley.
Councilor Michael Cadigan also supports the proposed legislation, stating “There is no question that I-25 and Paseo is the most important transportation project in the City. That is why it is appropriate to use whatever City resources are available to jump start this critical project.”
Completing this project will open up new access to commercial property in the northern part of the City, and constructing an arterial street over the Domingo Baca Arroyo will make it possible for motorists to exit I-25 directly onto a roadway that accesses the commercial parks and manufacturing plants on the north side of Paseo del Norte. In order to reach those properties right now, motorists have to travel a complex route from Paseo to Jefferson and then cut across traffic and double back onto a frontage road.
Dedicating these funds to the Paseo project also will strengthen the project's chances of receiving a federal TIGER Grant, which the Mid Region Council of Governments and the New Mexico Department of Transportation are hoping will fund the bulk of this project. TIGER Grants are part the Federal Stimulus package and are designed to help states and municipalities fund large roadway projects. Grants can range from $20 million to $300 million. To receive a grant, a project must have on board local and state agencies willing to help fund the project.
Councilor O’Malley emphasized that “by using our quarter-cent funds, the City assures the Federal Government that we are ready and able to do our part.”