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Isleta rail station on track for Sept. opening

KOB Albuquerque Jul. 03, 2008. 09:43 AM EST



WORK IS UNDERWAY ON THE ISLETA RAIL RUNNER STATION. ONCE OPENED, THE STATION IS EXPECTED TO BRING A NEW WAVE OF RIDERS TO THE RAIL RUNNER. AND FOR VISITORS AND RESIDENTS OF THE PUEBLO, GETTING THE STOP IS SOMETHING THEY'VE WAITED A LONG TIME FOR. JEFF MAHER IS LIVE NEAR I-25 AND HIGHWAY 47 WITH THE STORY. JEFF? RIGHT NOW IT'S JUST A BIG DIRT LOT, BUT YOU CAN EXPECT TO SEE A LOT OF CHANGES HERE STARTING NEXT WEEK. AND ONCE THE STOP IS FINISHED AND READY TO GO IN A COUPLE OF MONTHS, THE RAIL RUNNER EXPECTS A LOT OF NEW RIDERS TO START BOARDING. RIGHT NOW, THE RAIL RUNNER ZOOMS THROUGH THE ISLETA PUEBLO. BUT SOON, THAT WILL CHANGE. 'it will allow more accessibility to places like the casino, the lakes, and then for us that commute back and forth from the Isleta Pueblo into Albuquerque, you know, it makes sense'ANTHONY ZUNI LIVES ON THE ISLETA PUEBLO. HE SAYS WITH GAS PRICES CONTINUING TO CLIMB - PEOPLE LIVING ON THE RESERVATION HAVE MORE REASON THAN EVER TO USE THE RAIL RUNNER ONCE THE NEW STATION IS COMPLETE. BUT IT'S NOT JUST PEOPLE LIVING ON THE PUEBLO WHO PLAN ON USING IT. 'people looking to get into the casino, and getting into the resort itself and the golfing, I think it will be good for the area and will bring money from the Northern side of Albuquerque down here to the Isleta, Valencia County area' RAIL RUNNER OFFICIALS EXPECT THE ISLETA STOP TO BE A BIG DESTINATION FOR PEOPLE. 'obviously it's important to the pueblo for other reasons - economic development, the casino, the golf course, isleta lakes, there's a lot of recreation and entertainment activities here for people' AND IT WON'T JUST BE VISITORS AND TOURISTS BOARDING THE TRAINS. EMPLOYEES OF THE BRAND NEW ISLETA HOTEL AND CONVENTION CENTER ARE ALSO EXPECTED TO ADD TO THE RIDERSHIP. 'the newly opened hotel and events center that they now have is going to employ close to 600 to 700 people so a lot of those people are going to be coming from different areas of the corridor' THE PROJECT IS COSTING THE RAIL RUNNER ABOUT TWO-POINT-EIGHT MILLION DOLLARS. OFFICIALS HOPE THE CONSTRUCTION ON THE ISLETA STATION WILL SPEED NEGOTIATIONS WITH SANDIA PUEBLO TO ADD A STOP THERE. LIVE ON THE ISLETA PUEBLO. JEFF MAHER. EYEWITNESS NEWS FOUR. SOME THUNDERSTORMS

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