Officials celebrate completion of Sunport Boulevard extension

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — It’s about to get easier to drive to and from the Albuquerque International Sunport.

“This is more access to an area, which will really bring different kinds of development – and this is where we’re gonna grow in District 2,” said Steven Michael Quezada, District 2 county commissioner.

The Sunport Boulevard extension project cost $20 million to construct and took under two years to build. However, county leaders have discussed it for more than a decade.

“Little did I know that 13 years of my career would be spent on this project,” said Rodrigo Eichwald, the engineering program manager.

The extension connects Sunport Boulevard to Broadway, creating another way to get to or leave the airport.

The extension addresses a clear need – Sunport officials say travel increased by 13% last year.

“The Sunport extension is the key to unlocking the economic development and potential in the South Broadway corridor. This connection completes the transportation loop formed by Rio Bravo, Broadway and Sunport Boulevards along the I-25 corridor,” said Elias Archuleta, the deputy county manager at Bernalillo County Public Works.

A new, 20-foot sculpture will also greet drivers passing through the extension. Local artist Karen Yank designed it with $60,000 in voter-approved bonds for arts.

“It’s a dream of mine. I’ve lived in New Mexico for 35 years and it’s the first big sculpture project near the airport that’s come up,” Yank said.

“This is the future of the city of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County. In my opinion, this is the future of the state of New Mexico,” Commissioner Quezada said.