The federal Highway Safety Improvement Program found that the project is needed due to the long record of a high rate of severe injuries in crashes at the intersection and the high frequency of damage to private property abutting the intersection.
According to the Albuquerque Police Department:
- Between 2015-2018, there were a total of 30 crashes at the intersection, including 8 crashes with injuries.
- Between January 2012 and December 2014, 13 crashes were reported, including 6 with injuries.
- From 2007-2009, this intersection had a total of 22 crashes, including 5 with injuries.
- From 2004-2006, the intersection of Candelaria and Rio Grande Blvd. experienced 29 crashes, including four collisions involving pedestrians and bicyclists.
- Frank Garber of Albuquerque was killed at this intersection when his sports car was hit by a pickup truck that ran a red light. He was wearing a seat belt at the time.
- This intersection had a crash severity rate that was higher than any other intersection within Albuquerque during the period of 2004-2006.
- According to a 2011 Mid-Region Council of Governments Safety Report, the intersection of Candelaria Road NW and Rio Grande Boulevard NW had a rate of pedestrian-involved accidents, triple the average rate of the rest of the Albuquerque Metropolitan Planning Area. That rate is the same as the intersection of San Mateo and Montgomery.