Paseo project may take two years

Posted at: 11/07/2012 6:07 PM
By: Joseph Lynch, KOB Eyewitness News

Another big issue for Albuquerque voters was the Paseo/I-25 Interchange project. They approved the 50 million dollar bond to be used for improvements. Now that it's passed, the big questions are: When will it start and how long will it take?

Nearly two-thirds of Albuquerque voters were behind the bond passing. It frees up $50 million to help the "Paseo Project". The state and federal government are already on board. Albuquerque's Mayor, R.J. Berry, thinks it's vital for short term and long term economic development. "People in the construction industry have been hit particularly hard by this recession and this economy. This is an opportunity for a lot of folks to get back to work- right now today. Anytime you can combine an effort where jobs are created today and long-term economic development opportunities are created. That's really good stuff for a community," Berry said.

Some voters, like Al Johnson of Albuquerque, think more roads will just bring more cars and traffic. He said they should have considered something even more out of the box to deal with the westside's traffic situation.

"I'd like to see them consider alternative transportation as opposed to building more roads to hold more cars," Johnson said.

With any major construction project, delays and those dreaded orange barrels aren't just a possiblity, they are guaranteeed. We can expect to see them as soon as early summer and it could last up to two years. Blake Johnson hates the gridlock. He thinks it will be worth it in the end.

"It will be a mess. As have all the major construction projects that we've taken on that were major. But, the result will be well worth the trouble," Johnson said.