At the request of a friend, im reposting a post I made to the Albuquerque Urban Exploring blog (abq_urbex)
I plan to continue the hunt and I will of course post more photos.
So as of my last posting about the seemingly boring subject of hunting for the the Barelas Acequia/Creek/Ditch, and any possible tunnels that may be involved, I have come across some new information, so I'm going to try and post it here.
I finished up reading the book 'Martinez Town 1823-1950' Joseph Sánchez & Larry Miller, It's a bit of a dry read, but I also learned lots. Especially about the 'Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District' http://www.mrgcd.com, who for the most part has been at work in this town since the 1920's buying land, swapping land, digging ditches, maintaining the irrigation canals(acequias), I had already started my research finding old Sandburn insurance maps, looking up various online GIS sites (the city's GIS maps site use to show drainage systems, but unfortunately they now reserve that data to a need to know basis. I followed the wacky property lines in google earth and got a pretty good idea of where the ditch ran. But then the other day I noticed google maps on my phone still shows the 1950/1960's path of the ditch before it sections of it were buried, and later abandoned. Sections of the southern part of the ditch still exist to channel away rainwater, although none of that ditch south of Candelaria looks like its designed to irrigate fields anymore. Its crazy to think of this long ditch(really its longer than Albuquerque is today from noth to south!), was originally all dug by hand.
I say its unfortunate that I started looking/hunting/finding the ditch before I finished the book, Just because end note #2 pretty much exactly lays it out, and I probably could have saved time looking it all up, but I don't really regret it because its still interesting to piece it all back together.
Browser based google maps, shows it but only as a blue line, and its a later path not going through downtown, no name on the ditch, but if one wanted to find where its under ground, one can easily flip back and forth between "satellite" and map mode. and it did verify pretty conclusively that many of the odd property boundries i found were really the path of it.
Barelas ditch started out as a extension of the Acequia de los Candelarias y Greagos, and there were various splits and such, but it pretty much bounces back forth along Edith, eventually to down between Edith and broadway, and from up north of where the town ends now, (Sandia reservation land) and then about lomas, it kinda wandered over along broadway until it cuts over to 1st street and Tijeras, over to Copper and 2nd, under the Hilton*, and across Central, Lead and Coal, in the middle of the 200 block, it eventually heads south some of it can be seen, at South San Jose park, and then south of that it turns into a big V ditch. Eventually it turns back into its traditional form of a low wall dirt ditch with culverts and bridges, (it can be seen driving to the Sunport Rail runner station/Rio Bravo), its now choaked with weeds and filled with tumbleweeds. and the land around it is nolonger farmland.
Im not sure all of the above shots are the origional course of the ditch, but they are all connected, and posted in southern linear order, I expect to revist this subject, and some of it may involve modern day drain exploring/spelunking.