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Alameda Drain and Trail Master Plan Receives EPA Regional People’s Choice Award


Bernalillo County received the “People’s Choice” award for its initial phase of the Alameda Drain and Trail Master Plan at a recent Environmental Protection Agency regional conference, in the category of Outstanding Green Infrastructure and Low Impact Development.

The Alameda Drain and Trail Master Plan project is a four-party effort by the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District, Bernalillo County, the City of Albuquerque and the Albuquerque Metropolitan Arroyo Flood Control Authority for the purposes of providing amenities along the drain while still honoring the primary function of the drain and its need for maintenance. It provides a framework for trail and other improvements along the nine-mile corridor that runs from Interstate 40 to the northern end of Second Street.

The comprehensive intent of the project is to enhance this historic drainage way by improving water quality through strategic landscaping concepts and creating a shared use path that works in conjunction with the drain, which results in a more cohesive, aesthetic corridor.

BernCo engineer and project manager, Diane Sholtis, led the public outreach for the project’s master plan, which included a series of workshops, field tours, general forums, four public meetings and over 10 individual stakeholder meetings. The efforts resulted in a comprehensive evaluation of all elements for an overall project design that will serve not only the stakeholders but also the environment.

“Being environmentally conscious and responsible were guiding principles for this project,” says BernCo Public Works Division Deputy County Manager, Roger Paul. “We are honored to be recognized on a regional level for this project in the green infrastructure category; extensive time, effort and thought were poured into this project by all of the partner agencies.”

Bernalillo County is responsible for the first phase of this multi-phase project. Phase 1 is currently under construction and will develop unique equestrian, pedestrian and cycling opportunities for both recreation and transportation uses from Montaño Road to Osuna Road. Phase 1 will cost approximately $1.7 million and construction is expected to be completed by spring 2019.

The Alameda Drain was constructed to lower moderate and shallow groundwater tables, and return unused irrigation water back to the Rio Grande for reuse. The drain is part of the larger network of water conveyances that shape development patterns in the Middle Rio Grande Valley. The drain runs parallel to Second Street for the majority of its length. The improvements will parallel the drain from I-40 to Sandia Pueblo.

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