Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Commission Turns Back Bridge Study.

Byline: Arley Sanchez Journal Staff Writer

Valencia County commissioners lambasted a state highway department study on a proposed new bridge and voted that it not continue into its next phase studying environmental impacts on Monday.

Since three other governments in Valencia County have already endorsed completing the environmental impact study, it's unclear what effect the commission's 5-0 vote to end the study will have on the bridge project.

Project engineer Tony Abbo of the state Highway and Transportation Department told commissioners whether to continue the study will be a cabinet-level decision, made possibly by mid-October.

The study, expected to take about nine months, will look at the environmental impacts of two options: building no bridge, and building one along an alignment that links Interstate 25 between the two state prisons to N.M. 47 south of Edeal Road.

During Monday's commission meeting, Abbo and District 3 engineer Steve Harris endured two hours of questions and scathing criticism from commissioners and some residents, who not only challenged the validity of the study, but also charged the department was disregarding the public's wishes. …

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