A years-old plan to build a pedestrian and bicycle underpass beneath St. Michael’s Drive along the Rail Trail moved closer to reality Wednesday.
Mayor Alan Webber and the City Council approved a nearly $285,000 funding agreement with the New Mexico Department of Transportation to design the underground crossing, which is meant to “enhance safety and overall operations.” Of the total design cost, the city is contributing about $41,500.
City Councilor Signe Lindell cast the lone dissenting vote, saying she is “pretty adverse to these tunnels” and that she would be more in favor of a bridge.
“I think they attract people living in them. I think they attract nighttime naughty behavior,” she said. “A tunnel is not my preferred way of solving this safety issue.”
Construction of the tunnel is estimated at $4.7 million, which is expected to come from state and federal funding sources.