Loma Colorado Boulevard and Kim Road intersections. (Gregory Hasman/Observer)

The City of Rio Rancho is in the early stages of a project to fix a 3.75-mile portion of Idalia Road from Northern Boulevard to Iris Road. 

Some of the work could consist of installing roundabouts and traffic signals and replacing culverts. 

The project consultant, WHPacific, an NV5 company, is conducting a $1.4 million study of Idalia that considers a variety of options. Of that, $1.2 million would come from federal funds while the city pays the remaining $200,000. 

A look at the possibilities 

Part of the study proposes making the following changes on Idalia at the Broadmoor Boulevard, Loma Colorado Boulevard, Kim Road and Iris Road intersections. 


  • Adding two, 11-foot lanes with curbs and cutters, sidewalks with landscape buffers and bicycle lanes.  
  • Constructing a dual-lane roundabout. This would include pedestrian crossings and rapid flashing beacons. While it would be a learning curve for motorists, the roundabout would improve safety because speeds would be reduced, WHPacific Project Manager Andrew Gallegos said. 
  • Putting up traffic signals which would include upgrading the asphalt pavement. 

Loma Colorado:

  • Creating a signalized intersection. 
  • Adding a dual-lane roundabout.

Kim Road: 

  • Creating a conventional intersection with a stop sign.  
  • Adding a single-lane roundabout.  

Iris Road: 

  • Lowering the road to flatten slopes for existing driveway grades. 
  • Building a two-way frontage road from Idalia to provide residents with access in front of their undeveloped property. 
  • Constructing a one-way frontage road from Idalia. 

The plans aren’t making everybody happy. Idalia Road resident Joe Hovanec said he is “totally not in love” with the frontage road idea. 

“It would have to be wide enough to accommodate all kinds of vehicles,” he said.  

Drainage issues 

Another issue being looked at is the drainage system down Idalia. If nothing is done, erosion will continue that could impact the road and undermine the drainage structure, WHPacific Drainage Manager Shelia Johnson said. 

The consultant broke the projects down by intersections along Idalia.  

Northern Boulevard: Roadway drainage would be contained in a storm drain placed under the road.


  • Building a storm drain
  • Constructing a culvert crossing on Idalia and a roadside ditch along Broadmoor
  • Replacing the culvert to the north to maintain existing conditions. 

Loma Colorado: 

  • Putting a 72-inch storm drain pipe  
  • Installing two storm drain pipes on Idalia 
  • Reconstructing the drainage ditch 

Addressing the drainage system is one of the things WHPacific is looking at. (Gregory Hasman/Observer)

Kim Road:  

  • Removing and replacing existing culverts. Runoff will be collected in a storm drain before heading east and going into La Barranca Arroyo. 
  • Collecting offsite runoff from the north, direct it into a 54-inch roadway storm drain then conveyed over to La Barranca Arroyo. 

Iris Road: 

  • Inlets and a storm drain would be built to discharge the water into an existing arroyo.  
  • Providing a frontage road for the property owner about 2,000 feet west of Iris. At the west end of the frontage road, runoff water will go into a storm drain inlet before going into a roadway storm drain. 

What’s next? 

WHPacific wants to complete its final report with recommendations in the summer. The report will then go to the Rio Rancho Governing Body to consider for approval. 

The company plans to start the preliminary design after that. 

For more information or if anyone has questions about the project, they can call 505-278-7066 or email [email protected].