City of Albuquerque details Downtown Rail Trail Project

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The plan to revitalize Downtown Albuquerque continues as officials unveiled more details on the “Rail Trail” project.

The project, as we’ve told you, would link downtown to nearby neighborhoods and boost business in the process.

A key part of this project starts at Central and First. City officials say most of the safety concerns for pedestrians stem from a nearby underpass.

“That’s been a bit of a haven for crime and illegal activity and a real divider between east downtown and downtown. So we hope that down the road when we construct the ramps, we will be able to have a cleaner passage between east downtown and west downtown,” said Terry Brunner, of the Metropolitan Redevelopment Agency.

The first phase of what officials call “Central Crossing” is to close off the underpass on the south side of Central. The goal will then be to construct a total of four ramps.

“Our first Step of the crossing is to investigate what’s here and tear down the arches, which will happen in the first half of 2024. Then, we will be building four ramps to access the crossing. You can see those in the diagram. Then, add two pedestrian bridges that will go on either side of the tracks,” said Jennifer Turner, the deputy director for the Department of Municipal Development.

Officials say that will create a safe crossing across the tracks. They also say people will start to see some changes as early as the week of November 6. That is when temporary fencing will go up in the area of First and Central.