Paseo del Norte / Unser Expansion

A much needed short-term project to accommodate new and proposed District 5 neighborhoods, APD, Fire and rescue.

Project Contacts

Giselle Alvarez
Councilor Dan Lewis Policy Analyst
[email protected]
505-768-3118

Tom Menicucci
Associate Director of Capital & Community Projects
[email protected]
505-768-3126

Background

As Paseo del Norte and Unser Blvd. are regional arterials that gather vehicles from all four corners of the Northwest Mesa it is imperative these two major streets are fully built to function with minimal congestion and maximum traffic flow.  As such, it is a City of Albuquerque priority to receive funding from Albuquerque’s Capital Implementation Program, the State Legislature’s Capital Outlay funds, and federal monies allocated to the Albuquerque Metropolitan Planning Area for the development of roadway cross-sections for Paseo del Norte from Calle Nortena to Rainbow Road and for Unser Boulevard from Kimmick Drive to Paradise Road.   

View KRQE report on the project:   

History and Completed Steps:

  • January 2018:  The City submits a Capital Outlay Request to the New Mexico State Legislature to begin funding improvements to Paseo Del Norte and Unser Blvd. This first time request was not awarded though it did provide an opportunity for City Council to inform the State Legislators that the City of Albuquerque would commence with a multi-year initiative to procure funding for improvements to Paseo Del Norte and Unser Blvd.
  • Spring of 2018: As requested by City Council, the City of Albuquerque’s Department of Municipal Development reviews the feasibility of constructing a reversible lane on Paseo Del Norte, as an interim solution until the full roadway cross-sections can be developed.  The Department determines that the addition of two additional lanes is required even for an interim solution.
  • September 2018: City Council requests $750,000 in City infrastructure monies budgeted in 2012 for roadway projects in City Council District 5 but remaining unspent be reallocated to the widening of Paseo del Norte from Kimmick Dr. to Rainbow Rd. as included in Resolution 18-80 AMENDING THE ADOPTED CAPITAL IMPLEMENTATION PROGRAM OF THE CITY OF ALBUQUERQUE BY APPROVING NEW PROJECTS, SUPPLEMENTING CURRENT APPROPRIATIONS AND CHANGING THE SCOPE OF EXISTING PROJECTS.
  • October 1, 2018: Albuquerque City Council approves Resolution 18-84 Establishing the Development of Roadway Cross-Sections for Paseo Del Norte from Calle Nortena to Rainbow Road And For Unser Boulevard From Kimmick Drive to Paradise Road As A Priority for the City of Albuquerque’s, Capital Implementation Program, The City of Albuquerque’s State Legislative Agenda And The City’s List of Projects For Transportation Improvement Program Of the Albuquerque Metropolitan Planning Area
  • December 17, 2018: Resolution 18-115 ESTABLISHING LEGISLATIVE AND BUDGET PRIORITIES FOR THE CITY OF ALBUQUERQUE FOR THE 2019 NM STATE LEGISLATURE was passed by City Council including a request to fund the expansion of Paseo del Norte between Calle Nortena and Rainbow, and further establishing the expansion of Paseo del Norte as a neighborhood priority. 
  • January 2019: The City plans to issue an engineering planning contract to develop conceptual plans for developing these roadway cross-sections in phases.

Project Funding from GRT Improvement Revenue Bonds

City Council Vice President Dan Lewis proudly announced the unanimous adoption of R-22-34 by the Albuquerque City Council on June 6, 2022, that appropriates $100,000,000 in new projects for the City of Albuquerque using Gross Receipts Tax Improvement Revenue Bonds. Councilor Lewis co-sponsored the resolution that includes $15,000,000 for expansion of Paseo del Norte on the Northwest Mesa.

Combined with other City, State, and Federal funds the addition of the $15,000,000 will allow the City to expand to four lanes on the segment of Paseo Del Norte from where it crests the top of the escarpment to Unser Boulevard and the part of Unser Boulevard from Paseo Del Norte to Paradise Boulevard. This project will go a long way to removing a major traffic choke point in the Northwest Mesa that extends on Paseo from Calle Nortena to Rainbow Boulevard, and on Unser from Kimmick Avenue to Paradise Boulevard. The choke point creates traffic delays that adds a half hour to forty-five minutes to daily rush hour commute trips, and ominously delays the arrival of emergency equipment to neighborhoods located along these segments of these roads.

The new roadway sections will include four lanes, a median to separate on-coming traffic traveling in different directions, storm drainage to maintain a safe and dry roadway during inclement weather, and a multi-use pedestrian and bike trail. The project is currently in design and the acquisition of right way will begin this year. The project is expected to be advertised for construction in 2024. 

Councilor Lewis stated, “Since choosing to serve on the City Council once again, it has been one of my primary goals to widen and improve these critical roadways. This phase will go a-long way to improving the quality of life of all the people on the Northwest Mesa allowing them to spend more time with their families and making a living and not stalled in rush hour traffic. It will especially allow for the prompt critical delivery of emergency services to the neighborhoods located along these roadways. I will continue to tirelessly seek funding to complete the remaining roadway sections and will be working with the State Legislators and Federal Congressional Delegation to accomplish this effort.”

Contact Your Legislators

Please email your legislator and let them know how important this project is to the area and request their support during the next Legislative Session to ask the Governor to approve the funding needed to complete this project and bring traffic relieve to the North West side of Albuquerque:

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham: 505-476-2200, https://www.governor.state.nm.us/contact-the-governor/

NM State Representative Joy Garratt: 505-986-4249, [email protected]

NM State Senator Harold Pope, Jr.: 505-397-8843, [email protected]

U.S. Senator Ben Ray Lujan: 202-224-6621 https://www.lujan.senate.gov/contact/contact-form/

U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich: 202-224-5521 https://www.heinrich.senate.gov/contact/write-martin

Teresa Leger Fernandez: 202-225-6190 https://fernandez.house.gov/contact

Mayor Tim Keller: 505-768-3000 [email protected]

Commissioner Walt Benson Bernalillo County: 505-468-7010 [email protected]