ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – As Albuquerque feels empty with business closings, school closings and a stay-at-home order, the city says there’s no better time than now to start millions of dollars in construction projects early.

The city has a long list of large and small road projects and construction projects that are now about to start weeks or months ahead of schedule.

“There are approximately $ 70 million in construction projects that we are able to accelerate over the next six months, and we are excited to begin,” Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller said during a press conference on Wednesday. Downtown, the city is already ramping up street repairs on some major roads, including Lead Avenue and Lomas Boulevard.

Soon, the city is also expected to start work on the central avenue underpass. The plan for this project includes beautifying the notoriously dark and drab area with new lighting.

The opening is slated for soon on an improved flood retention pond that will replace the existing Lomas and Broadway pond. The new retention pond will be relocated to vacant city land in Marble and Arno.

In Old Town, the city will begin to clear space for the long-promised “Portland Loo,” a public bathroom that will be in a public parking lot near the corner of Central Avenue and San Felipe.

One of the city’s biggest projects that will soon start will take shape at the Explora Science Center and the Children’s Museum. The city will begin work on a $ 4 million teenage “X-Studio”, as museum ownership is currently off-limits to visitors.

Mayor Keller says there are no concerns about funding the projects. “Obviously, the funding is in place,” Keller said. “I want to reiterate that we are very concerned about things like our operating budget and our future funding, it’s already funding that’s been strained anyway.”

A few other road projects that will start early include the rehabilitation of Rio Grande streets and 4th Street. These projects are expected to start in May. The city also expects to innovate soon on the new roundabout at 12th and Menaul.

Three community-focused buildings will also begin to see construction soon, including a new library on Central near Louisiana, and two new community centers in the “Singing Arrow” and “Westgate” neighborhoods.

The city’s Municipal Development Department has provided the following list of upcoming projects:

  • Projects under construction or starting in the next six months include:
  • International District Library
  • ADA Upgrades Across Southeast Albuquerque
  • Pedestrian renovation of the central underground passage
  • Median landscaping in key locations in the city
  • Singing Arrow Community Center
  • Marble pumping station / Arno
  • Westside Community Center
  • Explora STEM expansion
  • Improvements to intersections 12e and Menaul
  • Jennifer Riordan Field Six Sports Complex and New Signage
  • Medians pinned along the ART route
  • Rail utilities and streetscapes
  • Pedestrian crossing improvements
  • Convention center notice boards
  • HAWK signal at Nob Hill
  • The city is also investing approximately $ 23 million in the repair and repaving of city streets, $ 1.5 million in the alignment of the existing pavement, and $ 1 million in midpoint improvements to West Central over the six next months.

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