ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Drivers may be happy to hear the Lead I-25 on-ramp has reopened. The reopening comes after a repaving.

For years, drivers have complained about the on-ramp at Lead onto I-25. The lane used to be short and too quick for drivers to enter. However, things seem to be looking up.

“We had to repave it all together and get it ready for traffic in order to flow safely on there again. As of today, it is open. There’s three lanes of traffic through I-25 northbound, and it should be a smooth ride for commuters,” said Kimberly Gallegos with the New Mexico Department of Transportation (DOT).

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Northbound I-25 has been a mess between Gibson and Lomas since September 6. I-25 went down to two lanes in the area because the Lead on-ramp was closed for construction.

The DOT was working on extending the on-ramp after they closed the Martin Luther King (MLK) exit. This caused drivers to take a detour onto the frontage road before entering I-25 through the MLK on-ramp. Now, drivers are able to take the constructed Lead on-ramp again.

“What it did was, since we took out the exit and removed it, we were able to actually just repave that area, and that way, we made it three lanes all the way through where there’s no exit anymore at all,” said Gallegos.

There’s now no longer an MLK exit. It’s all a part of a $2.8 million project to fix the interstate in that area. The next phase of the project will continue some improvements along the frontage road.

The rest of the project will run through December 2022. Drivers may still see some orange barrels in the area. NMDOT said those will be removed by Monday, September 26.