ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Construction to overhaul the Paseo Del Norte, I-25 Interchange is set to begin Tuesday morning with lane closures going into effect overnight Monday.
The orange barrels started going up late Monday night, putting a tight squeeze on traffic through the construction zone.
Monday evening's commute was the last for the interchange as it exists.
By 6 a.m. Tuesday, all the barrels and barricades should be in place and construction on the long-anticipated project should be underway.
Drivers are already bracing for back-ups.
"I'm kind of dreading the fact that we're driving from the west side to Hope Christian School to drop off our kids," Dustin Chavez said.
Westbound Paseo will be reduced to two lanes from just east of I-25, to the railroad tracks west of I-25.
Jefferson will be reduced to one lane in each direction just north of Paseo del Norte.
The southbound I-25 frontage road will have various one-lane closures between Paseo and Jefferson at I-25.
The I-25 northbound Paseo off-ramp will have the left lane closed.
Some of the drivers News 13 spoke with said they plan to continue using the interchange during the construction at least initially.
"I'm probably going to try it the next two days, but after that if I'm going to get him here late and myself late to work, I'll have to probably figure out a different route," Rebecca Sanchez said.
Officials recommend drivers allow extra time for at least the first couple of days of construction and urge drivers to be extra careful in the work zone.
"The area is already so congested. The commute is terrible in the mornings and evenings. So this will add a little bit more to it earlier" said Melissa Dosher of the DOT. "Just keep calm and realize this is just a temporary inconvenience. When the project is done, it's going to be so much better."
The $93 million project is being done in four phases. The lane closures that begin Monday night are for phase one of the project.
The lane closures will of course change once phase one is complete in a couple of months. The entire project is expected to be completed in December 2014.
For more information, visit KRQE Links.
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