ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - State officials say they'll soon meet to discuss the 37-hour closure of Interstate 40 that stretched from Albuquerque to the New Mexico-Texas border.
Around 11 a.m. Tuesday road crews started reopening I-40 to traffic. It was a welcome sight to drivers and to state Department of Transportation employees.
"You need to take a look at the big picture," Ray Herne, spokesman for the DOT Intelligent Transportation Systems Bureau, said. "It's a problem that extends back into Arizona, through New Mexico, into Texas and Oklahoma. It's a multistate problem."
Road conditions in the Texas Panhandle and Oklahoma prompted safety officials to keep the highway closed longer than expected. For hours on Monday, I-40 was a makeshift parking lot with semi-trucks and cars backed up from the Louisiana Boulevard exit.
According to the state Department of Public Safety, the closure was a success safety-wise. Officials say there were no fatalities related to road conditions in New Mexico.
But it wasn't just those passing through who were delayed in their travels. Metro and East Mountain residents were affected, too.
"That's an entirely different story," Phil Gallegos with the NMDOT said. "The East Mountain area obviously had some issues getting home last night."
Many metro roads were thrown into gridlock. Daycares and community centers in the East Mountains were forced to stay open late to accommodate those people stuck in traffic.
"You know, hindsight is always 20/20, and I'm sure we'll go back and look at what those things are we can do to streamline that process and try to get people home in a more timely manner," Gallegos said.
Several agencies involved in the closure will have a debriefing in the next few days to discuss what went right, what went wrong and what can be done differently in the future.
As of Tuesday afternoon I-40 eastbound was open to Amarillo but remained shut down through Texas and much of Oklahoma. Crews are still dealing with the storm that dumped up to 2 feet of snow in some areas.
The storm knocked out power to thousands of homes and is being blamed for two deaths.
Closing arguments in a right-to-die case wrapped up just before noon in an Albuquerque courtroom.
College students are steaming ahead toward their winter break, but crime on campus could spike as more students will be gone.
An overnight fire consumed a garage at a home on Albuquerque's West Side.
A few tips on how to prevent thieves from taking your stuff over Winter Break, a look at the right to die trial, and other stories with Matt Mauro, Elizabeth Mauro and weather with Meteorologist Kristen Van Dyke.
Some Cleveland High School students say a traffic plan for getting them out of school forces them to take a dangerous and tricky left turn onto a 55 mph road, something parents and staff don't have to do.
They are two coaches building their respective football programs.