Trash piles high as state hasn’t cleaned drainage ditch in over a year

Posted at 11:09 AM, Feb 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-06 13:09:00-05

Click here for updates on this story

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KOAT) — Alfonso Castillo has lived in the same house for over 70 years and is tired of seeing his neighborhood trashed. He said it’s giving our city a bad name.

“Tourists from Old Town, and that’s the first thing they see when they go by there,” Castillo said.

KOAT was first alerted to this problem area along the I-40 bike path east of the river by concerned residents like Castillo, who said it has been this way for years.

“Nobody has ever cleaned it as far as I know,” Castillo said.

Action 7 News has been staying on top of this story, trying to figure out who is in charge of cleaning the mess up. Target 7 went digging for answers and found out it is the New Mexico Department of Transportation.

“It is just on our list of things to do, although sometimes other things do take priority,” said Kimberly Gallegos, with the department.

NMDOT said the last time it cleaned that area up was about a year and a half ago. Gallegos said it is a retention pond that is a hotbed for debris buildup, especially when it rains.

Target 7 also asked why it took us so long to figure out who was responsible. We are told its confusing. The city owns the actual trail, but it runs through state roadways.

“I’m actually really glad that you brought this to our attention. We will get it on the schedule and prepared for cleanup,” Gallegos said.

Residents who have been dealing with this for years hope that is not an empty promise.

“That bike path reflects everything about our city,” said Castillo.

Please note: This content carries a strict local market embargo. If you share the same market as the contributor of this article, you may not use it on any platform.