Q: How much will construction of this project cost?
A: Construction is estimated to cost approximately $9 million.
Q: How is the construction being paid for?
A: Construction is being paid for with voter-approved, City of Albuquerque street bond funding
and federal funds.
Q: How long will construction take?
A: Construction is estimated to take about 10 months.
Q: Why is this project needed?
A: As Albuquerque’s west side continues to grow, an increasing amount of traffic is going from east and west and west to east. The segment of Westside Blvd. from NM 528 to Golf Course Road is currently two lanes while other sections of Westside are four lanes. By expanding this section to four lanes and adding dedicated turn lanes, traffic should flow more smoothly throughout the entire travel corridor. Also, it is anticipated less traffic will cut through neighborhoods because there will be less congestion.
Q: What about bicyclists and pedestrians?
A: The project will add bike lanes in each direction, a continuous sidewalk on the south side of Westside Blvd., and a multi-use trail on the north side of Westside Blvd. Emphasis will also be placed on maintaining existing bicycle and pedestrian routes during project construction.
Q: Did the project have to go through any type of federal or environmental approvals?
A: Yes. A Categorical Exclusion (CE) was approved by the New Mexico Department of Transportation under an agreement with the Federal Highway Administration in December 2018. A CE signifies that a Federal agency has determined the project does have significant enough impacts to require an environmental assessment (EA) or an environment impact statement (EIS).
Q: Why isn’t a traffic signal being installed at the intersections of 7 Bar Loop and Westside Boulevard or La Sierrita and Westside Boulevard?
A: Traffic counts were performed in May 2016 and October 2019. The amount of traffic projected after the roadway is widened was also taken into consideration. Based on those counts and projections, it was determined that a traffic signal wasn’t warranted at either intersection. Because the project includes federal funding, traffic signals are therefore not allowed. However, the project will include the installation of underground conduit enabling easy traffic signal installation at a future time once a signal is warranted.
Q: Why doesn’t the project include a sound wall to protect neighborhoods from the increased noise that will come from expanding the roadway?
A: Three independent noise studies were performed by different professional firms in September 2015, March 2017 and October 2018. Noise receptors were placed at the backyards of existing residences and businesses on both the north and south side of Westside Blvd. throughout the project area. All three noise studies determined that based on current and projected noise levels, noise mitigation is not warranted. .
Q: Will the contractor be required to protect nearby structures from potential damage due to vibration from construction equipment?
A: The contractor will be required to conduct vibration measurements for all existing structures before starting construction to establish a baseline. During construction, the contractor will be required to monitor vibrations from construction to assure they do not exceed established limits.
Q, Will the speed limit increase because there are more lanes?
A: No, the speed limit will remain at 35 miles per hour.
Q: What will you do to prevent speeding?
A: We do not anticipate a lot of speeding during construction due to lane restrictions, but will work with the Albuquerque Police Department to determine what enforcement options are available after the project is completed.
Q: Will the work be done during the day or at night?
A: The contractor will establish regular work hours. We anticipate most or all of the work will be done during the day. If nighttime work is needed, we will notify the public in advance.
Q: How will you keep traffic flowing during construction?
A: Our intent is to maintain one lane of traffic flowing both east and west on Westside Blvd. throughout construction. However, there will be lane restrictions. Motorists should expect delays, give themselves extra time to reach their destinations, and seek an alternate route if possible.