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Mayor Keller Celebrates Building Trades this Labor Day, New Construction Projects Move Forward

City’s bolsters push for building trade jobs to jumpstart during COVID-19 closures

September 7, 2020

This Labor Day, Mayor Tim Keller is shining the spotlight on the hard work done by building trades and construction crews over the last several months. Closures caused by the COVID-19 public health crisis created an urgent need and a unique opportunity for the City to begin much-needed capital improvements across Albuquerque. The work is expected to continue into the coming year. The city also enhanced its metropolitan redevelopment program to include stronger wage and apprenticeship protections for large city funded projects.

Currently, $120 million in infrastructure improvement projects are under construction. Another $50 million in additional projects are expected to be awarded before the end of the calendar year. Mayor Keller also announced $50 million dollars in roads, infrastructure, and other traffic improvements that will move forward under a new bond program. The construction sector employs more than 23,000 workers in Albuquerque, and boosting it during the COVID-19 pandemic created hundreds of additional jobs. The projects also contributed to a lower than expected loss in GRT revenue for the City, setting the stage for the City’s well-balanced proposed FY/2021 budget.

 “While our streets and buildings weren’t busy, these crews have been working around the clock to provide needed improvements across Albuquerque. In the face of the challenges this year, we also saw an opportunity to invest in our city by fast-tracking millions of dollars in construction projects, and in the process, saving countless jobs for working families,” said Mayor Tim Keller.

Steps are being taken to ensure construction sites are safe and fair pay practices are in place. Just last month, the Albuquerque Development Commission passed new contracting provisions to the Metropolitan Redevelopment Bond which set forth increased requirements for minimum wages. The City’s Planning Department has also stepped up its efforts to enforce requirements for apprentice licenses at sites across the city.

City Council is expected to vote this week on the ¼ Cent Transportation Tax Bond, which, if passed will allow for over $50 million in roadway specific improvements in Albuquerque. The funding would create additional construction jobs while providing much needed gridlock relief to residents on the west side, upgrading ADA compliance across the city, and focusing on creating safe, multi-use roadways for vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians.