NMDOT plan to rebuild I-25 S-curve sparks debate
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The New Mexico Department of Transportation wants to improve a problematic stretch of I-25 – the S-curve from Avenida Cesar Chavez to Lead.
They had their first of many public comment meetings Wednesday night about their proposal to straighten out that stretch of the freeway.
The proposed change comes with a couple of hiccups. Building to the east would impact some Albuquerque Public School buildings, and to the west would displace a neighborhood.
“I live here in South Broadway because it is one of the best neighborhoods in town, these homes are rare finds, they are jewels. The neighbors are families that have been here for four or five generations. The culture of this neighborhood cannot be replaced, you cannot displace these families,” said Shauna Miracle.
“I pray you don’t move an inch west because it will displace many people and there is a big lot east you know? And lots of APS buildings that can be moved from that lot,” said Jeff, who also would be affected and went to the meeting Wednesday to voice his concerns.
Miracle agrees that it would be better to work something out with APS than displace all of the families on the west side of I-25.
Another homeowner we spoke to is offering a different perspective.
“I’m not going to sit here and say, ‘No you can’t have my house,’ – yes you can, if you pay me the right amount!” said Linda Vialpando.
Vialpando said she remembers NMDOT sending homeowners letters about the project years ago and doesn’t want to stand in the way of what she calls “progress.”
“That is a very dangerous area, Avenida Cesar Chavez is also where we get an accident on a daily basis, from minor to serious. Once they would straighten that out and re-do that, I think it would be safe for everyone,” she said.
NMDOT said they are looking at all options and will provide more details on alternative options as meetings go on.
KOB 4 reached out to Albuquerque Public Schools to see if they’ve heard anything. A spokesperson said the district has been made aware of the proposal and is talking with NMDOT.