KOB tests routes to two N.M. hospitals

Posted at: 05/14/2013 10:56 PM
Updated at: 05/14/2013 10:58 PM
By: Chris Ramirez, KOB Eyewitness News 4

An exclusive KOB 4 On Your Side test determined there is no significant difference in time getting to the new UNM Rio Rancho hospital, versus the UNM Hospital in Albuquerque from the interchange of I-25/NM State Hwy 550.

The issue came up Monday night when KOB-TV broke the story of a lack of hospital signs with directions showing how to get to the Rio Rancho medical center.

A staff member for UNM Sandoval Regional Medical Center told KOB-TV that he has requested the NM Department of Transportation (NMDOT) put up blue hospital road signs on I-25 and Highways 550 & 528 indicating there is an emergency room nearby. 

Phil Gallegos, a spokesman for NMDOT, told KOB-TV they requested that the hospital study traffic and prove the Rio Rancho hospital is faster to get to than a hospital in Albuquerque.  Even though NMDOT does traffic studies routinely and is fully staffed with engineers, Gallegos said it was not the responsibility of NMDOT to study the traffic relating to this public safety issue. 

KOB 4 On Your Side did.

Using two vehicles starting from I-25/Highway 550, we timed the routes as both vehicles drove simultaneously.  One car drove to the Rio Rancho medical center, the other to UNM Hospital in Albuquerque.  Chopper 4 monitored and timed both cars with an aerial perspective.   

Both vehicles made it to their destinations at the same time. 

KOB 4 On Your Side plans on sharing our results with the NMDOT.