BERNALILLO, NM (KRQE) – It’s rare to see development on the river in the Albuquerque area, but there is now a movement to build a boating and canoeing area along the Rio Grande. The Outdoor Recreation Department within the Economic Development Department has released the winners of the grant that would help develop a new outdoor development.
In Bernalillo, they plan to build a new picnic area as well as a dock and ramp for kayaks and canoes. The Rio Grande Conservancy District, along with a group called the Paddlers Coalition, applied for a state grant to facilitate access to the Rio Grande around Highway 550.
“It was really dangerous for people to stop and come back to that place with boat trailers and things like that. It is also a program to improve public safety, ”said Mike Hamman, CEO of the Rio Grande Conservancy District.
The grant was $ 25,000 and the city of Bernalillo added an additional $ 25,000. Some people in town are worried that the developed area will cause problems, the conservation district said there should be no worries.
“There are parties and various things that are of concern to local governments, and it will be restricted access with proper gates and guardrails and managed parking, so that will be an improvement,” Hamman said.
This is not the first proposal to bring more people to the area along the river. Three years ago, a developer wanted to build a river promenade with shops, restaurants and canoe rentals on the west bank of the river, but nothing has been done yet.
KRQE News 13 called the architects linked to this project and were told they were unsure if he was still alive. In 2013, Albuquerque pitched the idea of adding a boardwalk, bike and boat rentals, and a cafe along the river, but that idea was immediately rejected.