City cleans up environmental contamination from historic train stations
On Saturday, Mayor Tim Keller and a group of city leaders provided an update on the historic cleanup of train stations from environmental contamination on the property. Due to the historical uses of the site, the marshalling yards have suffered environmental impacts due to both petroleum hydrocarbon and metal contamination. The city has received a certificate of conditional completion for environmental remediation on the northern half of the property, as outlined in the state Department of Environment’s voluntary remediation program.
The city has removed hundreds of windows containing asbestos and lead contaminated soil and has met critical remediation requirements to keep the property healthy for the environment and visitors. The conditional certificate also requires ongoing monitoring of hazardous materials on the property through groundwater sampling and soil sampling.
â€œWe bought the train stations with the goal of redeveloping this historic site and creating a space that the whole community can enjoy,â€ Keller said. â€œThis site is a historic piece of Albuquerque and we are pleased to make significant progress in revitalizing the yards.â€
â€œMuch of the work being done here has left behind hazardous materials like lead and asbestos,â€ said Acting Department of Environmental Health Director Mark DiMenna. “Thanks to our remediation work, we can now use the space safely and continue to monitor to ensure public and environmental health.”
â€œThe Environmental Department will continue to work closely and in conjunction with the City’s Environmental Health Department to certify the remainder of the Rail Yards property,â€ said Water Protection Division Manager John Rhoderick.
The city began a streetscape project on Monday that will add a wide pedestrian path with green spaces and benches. The project will also add traffic calming devices on Second Street to make the area safer for pedestrians and cyclists. In addition to the work on the footpath, a new entrance will be added for pedestrians and bicycles on the north side of the Rail Yard property.
â€œCreating a safe and walkable space along the Rail Yards property will make the space more inviting and easier to access while ensuring it blends in with the surrounding neighborhoods,â€ Lawrence said. Rael, city operations manager. â€œThere is a lot of work to be done here and we can’t wait to see more and more people using the yards. “
Currently, train stations are not available for private rentals, such as weddings, due to a large film production using the entire property. Some public events, like Family Portrait Day, will take place in the fall depending on production schedules.
â€œWe are delighted to see this historic district undergo much-needed renovations and upgrades,â€ said Department of Arts and Culture Director Dr. Shelle Sanchez. â€œThe Rail Yards remains a popular place to host events. We look forward to partnering with community organizations to bring more arts and culture programs and public events to this space.