ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Northbound I-25 in the heart of Albuquerque could be a mess for a few weeks. The issue will be between Gibson and Lomas, as work begins to extend the Lead on-ramp and the closure of the Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue (MLK) exit.

In a few days, the Lead on-ramp will be closed down, so crews can extend the extremely short merge lane up on I-25. While this work is slated to last the better part of a month, the first night of this work will cause the most confusion. “There’s gonna be a one-time closure on the night of Tuesday, September the 6th; it’s gonna start from Gibson and include all of the exits on Northbound 25 from Gibson all the way to Lomas,” says Kimberly Gallegos, the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) District 3 public information officer.

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That section of I-25 will be reduced to one lane of northbound traffic so crews can get a barrier wall in along the work zone. Then, for the next 21 days they’ll work to extend the Lead on-ramp merge lane and redo Oak Street below where the MLK off-ramp was recently torn out. I-25 will go down to two lanes in that area during that time, and the Lead on-ramp will remain closed.

The NMDOT says these changes will make the on-ramp safer, and make Oak Street run smoother. However, some drivers aren’t pleased about the changes, and one driver tells News 13 they wondered about the timing of it all. “It’s gonna cause headaches, right? And again, you know, school’s been out for a long time. Why didn’t we do it while school was out? Now we have school back in and all of those things. We have a tendency to do things at the same time when we have the most traffic,” says Bruce Jefferson, who commutes along the interstate.

Gallegos says NMDOT understands the headache this might cause drivers but says they’ll work to get everything done on time. Until then, drivers will have to plan on using Avenida Cesar Chavez or MLK to get on I-25.

Southbound traffic will not be affected by any of this. The whole project comes with a price tag of about $3M.