The latest plan for Albuquerque’s ‘Rail Trail’

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — An intersection in downtown Albuquerque has reopened to foot traffic after nearly two years.

It’s to pave the way for construction on the “Rail Trail.” The trail is a key part of the city’s plan to revitalize downtown Albuquerque.

“The goal is to have an eight-mile loop around the city that visits all sorts of neighborhoods and areas that that we’re all familiar with across downtown Albuquerque,” said Terry Brunner with the Metropolitan Redevelopment Agency.

The stretch of road on Marquette, by Commercial and First Street, is a portion of the future site of the Rail Trail.

The project has nearly $40 million earmarked. That includes $15 million from the city, $10 million from the state government and $14.5 million in federal grants.

“Make it more pedestrian friendly and bike friendly and give people something to do this will be a statewide attraction that people drive in, bring their bikes, bring their strollers, cruise along the trails see different parts of the city,” Brunner said.

The idea is to link downtown to nearby neighborhoods, including the Sawmill District, Old Town, and circling back along the Bosque Trail and the Rail Yards.

“And we really hope along the trail, you’re going to see new small businesses, restaurants, bars, things to do museums, cultural activities that we haven’t had before,” Brunner said.

City officials expect the project will bring a boost to businesses along the trail. At the same time, they hope to attract potential businesses to set up along the trail’s path.

So when can we expect all this to happen?

“We think that this is at least a two to five-year project, so it’s going to take some time to build. It’s a very long trail, at eight miles, so there’s a lot of work to be done. We really hope to be up and going in the next year or two,” Brunner said.