Community Leaders Break Ground on Route 66 Visitor Center

This is a collaborative effort to create a space that celebrates Route 66 while serving the community.

March 21, 2021

Today, lowriders and motorcycles lined up along Route 66, as Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller, City Councilor Klarissa Peña, and Bernalillo County Commission Vice Chair Steven Michael Quezada joined numerous other community leaders including State officials to break ground on the long awaited West Central Route 66 Visitor Center on West Central near Nine Mile Hill. The ceremony was live on GOV TV.

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham made comments virtually and other speakers included State Senators Linda Lopez and Michael Padilla, City Council President Cynthia Borrego, City Councilor Lan Sena, County Commissioner Adriann Barboa, and numerous other community leaders including Luis Hernandez Jr., Executive Director of the West Central Community Development Group, who will be operating the facility when it is completed, and representatives from SWAN (Southwest Alliance of Neighbors) and other community and neighborhood organizations.

Route 66 Visitor Center Groundbreaking

“The Route 66 Visitor Center is a community led project, their hard work and perseverance over 29 years has proven to be transformative,” said Albuquerque City Councilor Peña. “These community leaders are credited with many development and redevelopment efforts along West Central and the surrounding area. The Visitor Center will be a catalyst in creating a destination for locals and tourists alike, while filing a void in an underserved community.”

The cost for the construction of the project, including tax, is $10.3 million. Phase one of the construction includes a 21,000 square foot museum, assembly space, catering kitchen, tap room, office space, outdoor amphitheater, parking, and landscaping. 

“The Route 66 Visitor Center project has been 29 years in the making and so many wonderful people have been involved in its planning and vision,” says Bernalillo County Commission Vice Chair Steven Michael Quezada. “Today the planning is done and the construction will begin.”

The design consultant for the project is Mullen Heller Architecture and Enterprise Builders is the construction contractor.

The construction will be a 405-calendar day (a little over 13 months) schedule.

This project is a collaborative effort between Bernalillo County, the City of Albuquerque and local stakeholders, SWAN (Southwest Alliance of Neighbors) and the West Central Community Development Group, to create a space that celebrates Route 66 while serving the local community.