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Central Avenue Bridge Crossing Site Designated as Historic Landmark

City Council votes to protect landmark that helped reshape Route 66
April 04, 2024

ALBUQUERQUE – Last night, City Council voted to designate the Central Avenue Bridge crossing site as a City Landmark. The Central Avenue Bridge crossing site, which is located on Central Avenue between Tingley Drive and Sunset Road, is a key part of Route 66 history and the development of Albuquerque as we know it today.

Before 1937, the original Route 66 passed through Albuquerque in a north-to-south direction and was located on 4th Street. The Central Avenue Bridge was constructed in 1930 to provide highway access over the Rio Grande and allow westward expansion of the city. With the completion of the Rio Puerco Bridge in 1933, and the Central Avenue Underpass in 1937, the US Bureau of Public Roads adopted the Santa Rosa-Laguna Shortcut as the new west-to-east alignment for Route 66, the direction we’ve come to know in more recent history.

“The Central Avenue Bridge crossing site has been important for hundreds of years,” said Planning Department Director Alan Varela. “This designation will help preserve and protect it indefinitely into the future. We are very happy to see that its significance has been recognized officially.”

The Central Avenue Bridge crossing site is the 24th designated City Landmark, and more are currently being considered. A site or structure can be considered for City Landmark designation if it is of particular historical, architectural, cultural, or archaeological significance. Because sites or structures designated as City Landmarks carry historical significance to the city and its residents, the Landmarks Commission strives to preserve them for future generations for the purposes of access, enjoyment, and education.