A paved bicycle, pedestrian path to connect to an existing trail along the escarpment in Rio Rancho has been completed, culminating a 30-year effort. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at the start of the path at the west end of Sagebrush Drive. The asphalt path constructed and supervised by Corrales Public Works is a crucial component of the Village’s Trails Master Plan, since it allows a long-desired recreational trail loop connecting Loma Larga to the escarpment trail and south to West Meadowlark Lane.

The February 25 ribbon-cutting was attended by 25 people including the Mayor Jo Anne Roake and current mayoral candidates Jim Fahey and Gary Kanin, as well as candidates for seats on the Village Council.

The trail connection project has been advocated by the Village-appointed Bicycle, Pedestrian Advisory Commission. One of its members, Chris Allen, spoke at the ceremony to trace its long road to completion. “For me, it started more than 30 years ago,” she recalled, “when a fellow named Kent Brandli, who owned the building where Prized Possessions is now. He had an idea for a trail that would circumvent the perimeter of the village. It was a beautiful idea and it sort of stuck in my head.”

She said about 30 years ago she accompanied then Mayor Kanin to the area at the top of Sagebrush Drive to explore that possibility. “That was 30 years ago! So when people tell me, ‘Oh my God, I’ve been working on this project for two years and not getting anywhere,’ I feel like saying, ‘That’s nothing.’”

But finally, some progress came when the commission was established and a trails master plan was ordered. That stressed the importance of trail connectivity and specifically highlighted the proposed trail link to the trail along the escarpment in Rio Rancho.

That trail link will also connect to the long-delayed trails along upper Meadowlark Lane; motorists pass by that paved escarpment trail right at the Corrales-Rio Rancho boundary on the north side of the road. The path actually continues south of upper Meadowlark where it is known as the Intel path.

Mayor Roake acknowledged a $40,000 grant for the project obtained by Sandoval County Commissioner Jay Block. “That really kick-started this project,” she pointed out.

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