The City of Rio Rancho is rebuilding Rainbow Boulevard starting in January.

It’s also adding a bike and walking path along a section of Westside Boulevard.

Rio Rancho Governing Body members approved contracts for both projects at their special meeting Tuesday afternoon at City Hall.

Rainbow Boulevard is set to be reconstructed from Northern Boulevard to Southern Boulevard. The work includes replacing the pavement, widening shoulders to 6 feet and putting in new drainage, turn lanes, curbs and gutters, signs and striping, according to city information.

Public Works Director B.J. Gottlieb said he expected the work to start in January and take six months.

The contract with Albuquerque Asphalt allots $3.6 million for the project, with $2.85 million coming through the New Mexico Department of Transportation and $769,000 from the city general fund.

The city staff members worked with Pulte Homes, which is building houses near Rainbow, to design the rebuilt road early so the project was eligible for the NMDOT funds, Mayor Gregg Hull said.

Rainbow has poor pavement condition and a lot of traffic, according to city information.

“This is one of our gifts from the past,” said City Councilor Jim Owen, whose district includes Rainbow.

He said the pavement had been put down without the proper base, but the new project will bring the road up to standards.

In another matter, the governing body also approved a $1.03 million contract with Star Paving Inc. to add a pedestrian and bike path along Westside Boulevard. Voter-approved general obligation bonds pay for $141,000 of the work, with $891,000 coming from the federal government, according to city information.

The path is planned to run from Unser Boulevard to the Albuquerque city limits, near Golf Course Road. The work will include landscaping, extension of recycled water lines to irrigate that landscaping, improved lighting at the intersection with Caramesa Drive and upgrades to curb ramps to bring them into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The project is expected to take three months, according to the city.