4 Investigates: Dangerous South Valley road redesign

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A South Valley road redesign has gone from a headache to downright dangerous.

KOB 4 first told you about the finished intersection several months ago. At that time, Bernalillo County seemed to think any confusion for drivers would soon go away.

But a new video shows it’s still happening and people who live there are still waiting for help. 

The problem is much bigger than the seemingly permanent display of cones next to Christopher Lucero’s home. There’s a little fear that creeps inside his mind every time his phone pings.

A new video shows the danger right outside his door in the middle of the day, and in the middle of the night. 

“Just pray that nobody comes through my wall,” said Lucero. “That no one comes through my wall or gets killed from the design.” 

The section where Bridge, Old Coors and Tower come together, was part of phase one of the Bridge Boulevard Reconstruction project – a $20 million investment in infrastructure, lighting and access.

“We’re still getting commercial vehicles, 18-wheelers, coming that way,” said David Garcia another neighbor. “In front of our house.” 

While it looks nice, people who live here say that’s about it. It really comes down to just a small section, where eastbound Bridge dead ends.

Traffic is supposed to use a side street to cut to Tower. While it sounds simple, neighbors said drivers still don’t get it. 

“We still see people wondering which way to go and it holds up traffic. People come up to it and they don’t know which way to go. They come up, traffic gets backed up, people are honking and then they don’t know where to go,” said Lucero.

One after another, people end up going eastbound on westbound Bridge, repeatedly.

“I’m surprised there hasn’t been a head-on collision here,” said Garcia. 

Not yet, but the traffic signs in that lane haven’t been so lucky. 

“Part of it is just getting people to start learning, this is the way,” said Larry Gallegos, a spokesperson for Bernalillo County. 

In August, just after Bernalillo County opened the intersection for business, they put up cones to keep confused eastbound drivers from using a turn lane meant for a residential neighborhood. 

“Part of this is we’re doing this temporarily and we’re going to meet with the neighborhood in a month to say ‘how’s it going,’” Gallegos said in an interview in September 2022. 

That was months ago. KOB 4 reached back out to the county and a spokesperson told us, there are bad drivers everywhere, and pointed us to Bernalillo County Commissioner Steven Michael Quezada.

But even with a week notice he never responded to our requests to talk about this problem or potential solutions. 

“We’re in limbo right now,” said Garcia. 

People who live next to Cortez and Bridge are still waiting for that meeting with the county. They worry it will take something worse to happen to push this problem up the priority list.

Neighbors told KOB they finally heard from the commissioner’s office. There’s a meeting planned this week