Belen builds Rail Runner pedestrian bridge

Bill Richardson
Governor

Gary L. J. Girón
Transportation Secretary

June 23, 2010

PRESS RELEASE

State and Local Officials Break Ground on Reinken Avenue ARRA Project in Belen

BELEN — Transportation Secretary Gary L. J. Girón was joined by state and local officials today as they broke ground on the Reinken Avenue project in Belen. The $2.4 million project is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and will include building a pedestrian overpass at the Belen Rail Runner Station. It is expected to be complete by this November.

“This project will provide safe and easy access into the heart of Belen,” said Transportation Secretary Girón. “We are grateful for the funds provided through the Recovery Act to complete this project and I anticipate that the construction of the new bridge will encourage Rail Runner riders to explore more of the city and spawn additional economic development in Belen.”

“This pedestrian overpass is both functional and esthetically pleasing,” said Dewey Cave, Interim Executive Director, Mid-Region Council of Governments. “This structure will serve as a new gateway to the city, letting arriving passengers know as soon as they get off the train that they have a connection to downtown.”

Belen Mayor Rudy Jaramillo said, “The pedestrian bridge is a blessing for the City and could not have come at a more needed time for us and for the economics of the area. This bridge will allow people to come to Belen on the Rail Runner and access our downtown more easily and safely. We are thrilled it has been designed to give the city a monument while serving a genuine need and now with the swallows choosing the bridge to be their home we now understand just what a great blessing it is and will continue to be for all who visit and live here.”

In April, the Rio Metro Regional Transit District selected New Mexico-based Meridian Contracting as the contractor for the job, with New Mexico Department of Transportation District Three staff overseeing the project.

A ramp and stairs will lead directly from the Rail Runner station to the overpass, allowing pedestrians and cyclists to cross Reinken Avenue and access First or Second Street. The walkway will be lighted and be completely ADA accessible. Its design includes architectural features that reflect Belen’s history such as the nearby historic Harvey House, as well as some of the city’s more recent enhancements such as the Rail Runner station, the Becker Street streetscape improvements and the Gazebo by City Hall.