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Author Topic: Albuquerque-area NM State Highway Changes  (Read 7679 times)

The High Plains Traveler

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Albuquerque-area NM State Highway Changes
« on: May 24, 2012, 10:51:06 PM »

Rather than bump my February post about re-signing along I-25 in northern New Mexico, Iím creating a new thread about observations during a long weekend in Santa Fe and Albuquerque. In driving around Albuquerque, I was able to field-check some state highway changes that have occurred in that area over the last year.  Basically, both Bernalillo County and the city of Albuquerque have exchanged jurisdictions over some roads with NMDOT. This posting covers the changes.

Unser Blvd., I believe, was earlier considered by regional planners to be the northwest arterial bypassing the central core of the city, extending from the western side of the Rio Grande valley north to Rio Rancho. It was designated NM-345. However, only the southern three miles or so of the route (south of MontaŮo St. Josephs Ave.) was actually posted.

Coors Blvd. (NM-45) south of Central Ave. (old 66) was connected to Coors Road north of Central (NM-448) some years back. Before this connection was constructed, they formerly intersected Central more than 1/2 mile apart. Around that same time, the portion of Coors (now all called Blvd.) north of Central, crossing I-40 and extending a couple more miles north, was turned over to the city. This gap corresponds roughly with the length of NM-345 that was posted, probably to maintain about  the same state highway mileage. 45 northbound continued to end at Central, by then a city street.
 
NM-47 was old U.S. 85 Alternate, running up Broadway and shifting to 2nd and 3rd Streets north of downtown. I believe the change was official with the 1988 renumbering of many state routes, but it was posted before I moved away in 1977.
 
Changes that I have seen in the last year in the NM Transportation Commission minutes affect all of the above. In a somewhat confusing resolution, NM-47 may have been eliminated from the south city limits north to its terminus where 2nd and 4th Streets intersect and it becomes NM-556. We drove down 2nd Street from that intersection south into Albuquerque and found no remnant of 47 remaining. Iím not sure what the new north terminus is.

The regional transportation plan has shifted away from using Unser Blvd. as a state-maintained route. Nevertheless, it is now complete from Central Avenue north to Rio Rancho, but is probably considered a minor arterial and is city-maintained.  NM-345 has been eliminated. In its place, the state resumed jurisdiction over all of Coors Blvd. and renumbered the entire route NM-45. This route extends over the Coors Bypass west of Cottonwood Mall in far northwest Albuquerque, and I canít tell from the NMTC resolution whether 448 was eliminated east of the mall along the northernmost part of Coors Blvd., south from Alameda (NM-528) to the Coors Bypass/Blvd. intersection. It is still marked. The exit for Coors Blvd. on I-40 does not have NM-45 posted, however. There would be room to squeeze small route markers on the overhead signs, which were installed during the period when the street was not a state highway.

The new regional transportation plan identified Paseo del Volcan as the route that would bypass the city to the northwest. This entire route was given a new designation of NM-347 by NMTC. The only portion of this Paseo del Volcan open to traffic so far is from Unser Blvd. east to U.S. 550 in Rio Rancho. Although the right of way through this mostly undeveloped area will support a divided highway, possibly built to freeway standard, there is only a two lane road there. It is posted as NM-347 and has mileposts that would have I-40 as a reference point (mid-20s in Rio Rancho). The existing  road north from I-40 formerly known as Paseo del Volcan Ė which actually passes near the eponymous volcanos west of the city Ė was renamed Atrisco Vista Blvd., and I believe the south end of future Paseo del Volcan at I-40 will be east of this intersection. (Just to confuse you, the interchange just to the east of Atrisco Vista Blvd. is Arroyo Vista Blvd.).

A surprise for me was that the Atrisco Vista exit is posted on I-40 as NM-500. (This interchange replaced the former Central Avenue interchange.) There had been a resolution of the NMTC about extending 500 west from its former terminus along Rio Bravo Blvd. at NM-45, where the road becomes Dennis Chaves Blvd., but I didnít realize it created a present-day state highway forming a southwest loop from I-25 to I-40. I didn't verify that this segment was actually posted, though. Including the prospective mileage of the future NM-347 from west of Albuquerque to Rio Rancho and deducting the north end of NM-47, it looks like an increase in overall state highway mileage.  I took a few pics along the way including some scenic highway shots in the mountains, but rather than pasting them into an already long post Iíll put the link here.

 http://www.flickr.com/photos/29887636@N08/sets/72157629871442974/
« Last Edit: January 21, 2015, 02:10:49 AM by andy3175 »
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Re: Albuquerque-area NM State Highway Changes
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2015, 12:50:46 AM »

Quote
The new regional transportation plan identified Paseo del Volcan as the route that would bypass the city to the northwest. This entire route was given a new designation of NM-347 by NMTC. The only portion of this Paseo del Volcan open to traffic so far is from Unser Blvd. east to U.S. 550 in Rio Rancho. Although the right of way through this mostly undeveloped area will support a divided highway, possibly built to freeway standard, there is only a two lane road there. It is posted as NM-347 and has mileposts that would have I-40 as a reference point (mid-20s in Rio Rancho). The existing  road north from I-40 formerly known as Paseo del Volcan Ė which actually passes near the eponymous volcanos west of the city Ė was renamed Atrisco Vista Blvd., and I believe the south end of future Paseo del Volcan at I-40 will be east of this intersection. (Just to confuse you, the interchange just to the east of Atrisco Vista Blvd. is Arroyo Vista Blvd.).

An update on Paseo del Volcan, now being touted as a $100 million, "32-mile high capacity freeway that could one day connect I-25 to I-40 on the Westside" that has no clear funding source. An April 2015 article tells the story at http://www.bizjournals.com/albuquerque/blog/real-estate/2015/04/future-of-massive-100m-paseo-del-volcan-roadway.html:

Quote
The proposed roadway would run north from I-40 through Bernalillo and Sandoval Counties and to Rio Rancho, where it would eventually connect to U.S. 550 ó creating a loop.

Proponents say it would spur millions in new development opportunities ó opening up access to lands that would otherwise not be touched. They argue that it would open up east-west and north-south interstate access and potentially spur large-scale distribution points and access to land for industrial facilities. It would create permanent jobs in the long-run and temporary construction jobs in the short-run, they say.

Others donít think the market is ready support such a massive project, and point to the already existing Atrisco Vista roadway, which has potential to extend to Rio Rancho, too, but that hasnít seen much activity in recent years. ďAtrisco Vista is already built and thereís not a lot going on out there."

Quote
The cost has been estimated at close to $100 million, with $34 million in rights-of-way acquisition ó something that has been happening through the New Mexico Department of Transportation, which has jurisdiction over the corridor.

And then this August 2015 article on Westside development...

http://www.bizjournals.com/albuquerque/blog/real-estate/2015/08/westside-called-the-next-frontier-of-albuquerque.html

Quote
Albuquerque City Councilor Dan Lewis, who represents a large Westside district, gave an update on Paseo del Volcan, the 32-mile high capacity freeway that could one day connect I-25 to I-40 on the Westside. To goal is to ease congestion on other roadways, while also encouraging development along the new highway to create jobs that keep people on the Westside.

Lewis said while many residents think the project was thrown together haphazardly, it's actually been in the works since 1985. It wasn't until recently, however, that Lewis and other officials got together to really drive the project forward, collecting federal and local dollars to purchase right-of-way and infrastructure.

"We've played catch up on Coors [Blvd.] and Unser [Blvd.]. If we don't carve out time to serve projects like this, we're not going to serve the needs of the future," Lewis said.

The highway loop would also help spur development at the Double Eagle II Airport, according to the city of Albuquerque's aviation director Jim Hinde.

The project website (including corridor report) is at https://www.cabq.gov/council/projects/current-projects/paseo-del-volcan.
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Re: Albuquerque-area NM State Highway Changes
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2015, 11:18:20 AM »

Quote
The new regional transportation plan identified Paseo del Volcan as the route that would bypass the city to the northwest. This entire route was given a new designation of NM-347 by NMTC...

An update on Paseo del Volcan, now being touted as a $100 million, "32-mile high capacity freeway that could one day connect I-25 to I-40 on the Westside" that has no clear funding source. An April 2015 article tells the story at http://www.bizjournals.com/albuquerque/blog/real-estate/2015/04/future-of-massive-100m-paseo-del-volcan-roadway.html:

Quote
The proposed roadway would run north from I-40 through Bernalillo and Sandoval Counties and to Rio Rancho, where it would eventually connect to U.S. 550 ó creating a loop...

Quote
The cost has been estimated at close to $100 million, with $34 million in rights-of-way acquisition ó something that has been happening through the New Mexico Department of Transportation, which has jurisdiction over the corridor.

$100 million for 32 miles of freeway seems really inexpensive.

(The single-lane flyover ramp from I-95 NB to CT 34 WB in New Haven was about $98 million.)
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Re: Albuquerque-area NM State Highway Changes
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2015, 10:40:24 PM »

I am sure the initial $100 million, 32 miles of freeway will be an interim two-lane highway similar to the initial version of Arizona's Loop 303 that was built in the 1990s between Grand Avenue and I-10.  The first piece of Paseo del Volcan is already in place running a few miles west from US 550. 

It would be great if the route is eventually extended south of I-40 and connects back to I-25 south of Albuquerque.  Additionally, it seems totally logical that Paseo del Norte (NM 423) be extended westward as a freeway to tie into Paseo Del Volcan. 

Time (and money) will tell, I suppose.
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Re: Albuquerque-area NM State Highway Changes
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2015, 03:35:40 PM »

New Mexico has struggled for decades with transportation planning, funding, and design quality.  The official policy has long seemed to be reactive rather than proactive.  Meaning instead for planning for growth, wait until it happens and then throw together something that is half baked.  Kind of similar to what happened in certain northeastern states after they decided to cancel certain planned and needed arterials.
Have not viewed the Paseo del Norte extension after it was finally extended westward through the Petrogylph monument (after years of litigation and hand wringing) but suspect it is narrow and not of interstate grade.  The rest of Paseo del Norte is a hodge-podge of design styles and qualities.   Such as the narrow overpass at Coors and its' overloaded SPUI, the left exits and partial SPUI at second street,  and the traffic signals at Jefferson Road (finally being eliminated).   The second street interchange / Paseo del Norte (1988)  has to rank as one of the worst constructed interchanges, anywhere. 
If any such Paseo del Volcan route actually moves forward, it needs to be Interstate grade, and directly connect to Interstate 25 at points south (milepost 209/210) and north (exit 242 - NM 44/US 550) to be a useful and coherent facility.  Am aware of scoping and public meetings regarding the Exit 242 facility and it's possible reconstruction am not aware what it's current status is.  The desired end result for that interchange should be a near full stack, imho. 
« Last Edit: August 30, 2015, 04:42:50 PM by DJStephens »
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Re: Albuquerque-area NM State Highway Changes
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2015, 01:22:30 AM »

New Mexico has struggled for decades with transportation planning, funding, and design quality.  The official policy has long seemed to be reactive rather than proactive.  Meaning instead for planning for growth, wait until it happens and then throw together something that is half baked.

That was my observation.  I spent a lot of time in NM the last two winters and that description is accurate statewide.  Several towns have "relief routes" that could use some upgrades to make them safer.  At least they did a good job on The Big I.  That is a sleek, traffic moving machine.

The NW side of ABQ and Rio Rancho; everything tends to get funneled into Coors Blvd.  Not enough options got built as the area developed and nothing with enough access control to keep from backing up.
The freeway upgrades to Paseo del Norte seem decades overdue based on what I saw in that time.  The entire corridor could've been developed as a freeway two generations ago.  Same goes for the N-S half of Tramway.

The existing two-lane Atrisco Vista Blvd is pretty desolate.  There is nothing out there except that airport.  Further north, there's a dozen square miles of blank subdivisions; the streets have been roughed in but nothing is out there.  They are way out ahead of the development if they are planning for a freeway out there now.
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Re: Albuquerque-area NM State Highway Changes
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2015, 01:16:01 AM »

Part of the problem with Albuquerque is that it seemingly suddenly "morphed" into a medium / large city overnight.  (Circa mid nineties onward).  The area is constrained by Native landholdings to the south, and north, and the mountains to the east, so any growth had to either leapfrog south (los Lunas), north (too expensive due to Santa Fe proximity), east, (over the mountains - Moriarty), or to the west, which offered the path of least resistance (some open landholdings available, spotty Native holdings).  Planning also was very poor, they could have laid out a Beltway using the Juan Tabo corridor, as well as Tramway on the north side and a desolate Coors (in the sixties).  The result was delay, and fence sitting, so we have the congested mess that is Albuquerque today.  One feature that actually saves the area is the extensive NE area of the city, which was laid out in a grid, with straight, wide boulevards and intersections a mile apart, very similar to Tucson and Chicago.   Vestiges of a possible Beltway were visible with the Edith Blvd overpass of the N-S railroad on the north side, as well as the original Coors / I-40 interchange (1961) which has been since replaced.   
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Re: Albuquerque-area NM State Highway Changes
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2019, 02:26:37 PM »

Bumping this ancient thread:

I was under the impression that NM 47, NM 345, and NM 528 had been decommissioned in the Albuquerque area, and signage seems to reflect that too. For example, at the 47/528 intersection at 2nd & Alameda, the shields on the street blades in 2011 had been removed by 2015. In addition, signage for NM 345 from I-40 was removed between 2011 and 2014.

But then I encountered this AADT document, which is dated 6/8/2016 and seems to imply those routes still exist: http://dot.state.nm.us/content/dam/nmdot/Data_Management/NM_AADT_Listing.pdf . That document does not include the segments of NM 313 or 314 that were decommissioned in Albuquerque, but I think those were much less recent.

Thoughts?

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Re: Albuquerque-area NM State Highway Changes
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2019, 11:45:59 PM »

Bumping this ancient thread:

I was under the impression that NM 47, NM 345, and NM 528 had been decommissioned in the Albuquerque area, and signage seems to reflect that too. For example, at the 47/528 intersection at 2nd & Alameda, the shields on the street blades in 2011 had been removed by 2015. In addition, signage for NM 345 from I-40 was removed between 2011 and 2014.

But then I encountered this AADT document, which is dated 6/8/2016 and seems to imply those routes still exist: http://dot.state.nm.us/content/dam/nmdot/Data_Management/NM_AADT_Listing.pdf . That document does not include the segments of NM 313 or 314 that were decommissioned in Albuquerque, but I think those were much less recent.

Thoughts?
That list seems to be based on the last state route log I've been able to find on the NMDOT web site dated 2010. Doesn't explain why they would continue to collect data. Only thing I can think of, especially since other evidence exists in the field - mainly removal of route shields - of the state relinquishing these routes.
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Re: Albuquerque-area NM State Highway Changes
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2019, 12:18:58 PM »

I was under the impression that NM 47, NM 345, and NM 528 had been decommissioned in the Albuquerque area, and signage seems to reflect that too. For example, at the 47/528 intersection at 2nd & Alameda, the shields on the street blades in 2011 had been removed by 2015. In addition, signage for NM 345 from I-40 was removed between 2011 and 2014.

But then I encountered this AADT document, which is dated 6/8/2016 and seems to imply those routes still exist: http://dot.state.nm.us/content/dam/nmdot/Data_Management/NM_AADT_Listing.pdf . That document does not include the segments of NM 313 or 314 that were decommissioned in Albuquerque, but I think those were much less recent.

Thoughts?
That list seems to be based on the last state route log I've been able to find on the NMDOT web site dated 2010. Doesn't explain why they would continue to collect data. Only thing I can think of, especially since other evidence exists in the field - mainly removal of route shields - of the state relinquishing these routes.

WRT NM 528, 2011 minutes from the State Transportation Commission confirm that its segment between I-25 and former NM 47 was officially removed from the state highway system. AFAIK, no change to the part west of former NM 47.
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Re: Albuquerque-area NM State Highway Changes
« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2019, 11:01:45 PM »

I was under the impression that NM 47, NM 345, and NM 528 had been decommissioned in the Albuquerque area, and signage seems to reflect that too. For example, at the 47/528 intersection at 2nd & Alameda, the shields on the street blades in 2011 had been removed by 2015. In addition, signage for NM 345 from I-40 was removed between 2011 and 2014.

But then I encountered this AADT document, which is dated 6/8/2016 and seems to imply those routes still exist: http://dot.state.nm.us/content/dam/nmdot/Data_Management/NM_AADT_Listing.pdf . That document does not include the segments of NM 313 or 314 that were decommissioned in Albuquerque, but I think those were much less recent.

Thoughts?
That list seems to be based on the last state route log I've been able to find on the NMDOT web site dated 2010. Doesn't explain why they would continue to collect data. Only thing I can think of, especially since other evidence exists in the field - mainly removal of route shields - of the state relinquishing these routes.

WRT NM 528, 2011 minutes from the State Transportation Commission confirm that its segment between I-25 and former NM 47 was officially removed from the state highway system. AFAIK, no change to the part west of former NM 47.

From what I have observed about NMDOT, they really like to turn over maintenance of major roads to the City of Albuquerque within the city limits whenever they have the chance to do so. A few years ago they decommissioned NM 345 from Unser Boulevard. Similarly Lomas and San Mateo were previously signed as state routes up until the late '90s (NM-352 and NM-367, respectively, I think). And Central was signed as Business 40 for many years after US-66 was decommissioned. There are several other routes that were originally numbered state routes that were decommissioned and turned over to the City of Albuquerque as the city expanded and annexed more of unincorporated Bernalillo County over the years.
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Re: Albuquerque-area NM State Highway Changes
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2020, 12:27:04 AM »

Based on New Mexico's state transportation commission meeting minutes from November 2010, it looks like NM 47 may still exist in Albuquerque:

Quote
Tamara Haas, District Three Engineer, requested approval on the Roadway Exchange proposal which is a road exchange in which the NMDOT takes over Senator Dennis Chavez Boulevard from Coors Road (NM45) to I-40. Bernalillo County in exchange will take over Second Street from the North City limits to the 2nd Street/4th Street intersection and from the South City/County limits to the Broadway intersection (length is 9.3 miles) The roadway exchange is being proposed to ease the maintenance operation for both entities. The roadway swap will result in the NMDOT maintaining a roadway that has a rural character and the County will take over a roadway that is more urban in character (length is 7.3 miles)

The way I read that, two stretches of 2nd Street were removed from the state system: one from the Albuquerque south limits south to the Broadway intersection (which would have eliminated NM 303), and another from the Albuquerque north limits to the 2nd/4th Street intersection where NM 556 now ends (truncating NM 47).

That suggests to me that, unless there's been another commission action regarding 47 at some point, NM 47 still exists south of the north city limit of Albuquerque, and its northern terminus is now here.

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Re: Albuquerque-area NM State Highway Changes
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2020, 07:14:37 PM »

Based on New Mexico's state transportation commission meeting minutes from November 2010, it looks like NM 47 may still exist in Albuquerque:

Quote
Tamara Haas, District Three Engineer, requested approval on the Roadway Exchange proposal which is a road exchange in which the NMDOT takes over Senator Dennis Chavez Boulevard from Coors Road (NM45) to I-40. Bernalillo County in exchange will take over Second Street from the North City limits to the 2nd Street/4th Street intersection and from the South City/County limits to the Broadway intersection (length is 9.3 miles) The roadway exchange is being proposed to ease the maintenance operation for both entities. The roadway swap will result in the NMDOT maintaining a roadway that has a rural character and the County will take over a roadway that is more urban in character (length is 7.3 miles)

The way I read that, two stretches of 2nd Street were removed from the state system: one from the Albuquerque south limits south to the Broadway intersection (which would have eliminated NM 303), and another from the Albuquerque north limits to the 2nd/4th Street intersection where NM 556 now ends (truncating NM 47).

That suggests to me that, unless there's been another commission action regarding 47 at some point, NM 47 still exists south of the north city limit of Albuquerque, and its northern terminus is now here.

That makes absolutely no sense. So there will be a state highway that arbitrarily ends at the Albuquerque city limits without connecting to another route in the state highway system. But I'm not surprised as government officials in New Mexico tend to do a lot of things that don't make sense.
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Re: Albuquerque-area NM State Highway Changes
« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2020, 12:15:00 PM »

Lots of duplication between Bernalillo County and City of Albuquerque.  Am of belief that the two should have been "merged" with appropriate shedding of layers of bureaucracy.   Outlying sections of Bernalillo County could have been "transferred" to adjoining rural counties.   Turf and fiefdom issues make such a scenario impossible.   
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