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Nothing was resolved and little was clarified from the State highway department’s presentation to the Village Council April 13 on prospects for taking over Corrales Road. During an internet presentation to Mayor Jo Anne Roake and councillors, the N.M. Department of Transportation’s Jill Mosher said it would take about $1.8 million to upgrade Corrales Road to a condition under which it might be transferred to the Village of Corrales.

NMDOT has tried for several years to convince Village officials to take ownership and responsibility for State Highway 448, but Corrales has been reluctant, if not downright opposed. The primary concerns have been recurring costs to maintain Corrales Road and potential liability in the event of car crashes.

On the latter point, Mosher encountered councillors’ skepticism when she reported that the average claim was just $120 a year for liability on Highway 448. And Mosher made it clear NMDOT did not intend to resolve privately owned structures’ encroachments into the highway department right-of-way, so those pending conflicts would await Village officials if the transfer occurred.

Also to be resolved even if NMDOT gives the road to Corrales is the matter of space to accommodate long-proposed pathways along Corrales Road in the business district. Mosher said the department would not attempt to “shoehorn in” paths or bike lanes if and when it spent $1.2 million on the upgrade. Neither Mosher nor councillors indicated when the next steps might be taken on the department’s standing offer to turn over Corrales Road.

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