ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – Road crews with both the city and the state have been prepping for snowy conditions ahead of the busy holiday travel rush.
New Mexico Department of Transportation crews will first hit the main arterials in and out of town like I-25 and I-40 before moving on to secondary roads, including Paseo Del Norte.
“When the first sign of the storm comes in, we’ll start plowing and then salting and cyndering the roadways, so they’ll be out all hours of the night,” Kimberly Gallegos with NMDOT said.
NMDOT crews have already started their 12-hour shifts.
In Albuquerque, the city’s 50 trucks are ready to go with 20 workers rotating in shifts over the next 72 hours. Crews did a mock snow day last month to practice running the routes.
The city says if temps drop to the low 20s or below, they’ll start putting ice melt on bridges and overpasses to prevent ice buildup. The city crews do not clear residential streets and will first target the areas hit hardest.
“We’ll probably only have to hit a few hundred, maybe 10% or 20% of the roads, depending on how the storm hits,” Department of Municipal Development Director Kevin Sourisseau said.
The Sunport said its snow team is on call 24/7 and is made up of two groups: one clears the parking lots and the roads to get to the airport, and the other focuses on the main runway and taxiways to help keep the planes moving.
They estimate Wednesday and Sunday to be their busiest travel days of the holiday weekend with as many as 10,000 people, so they’re recommending people get there two hours before flights take off.
Drivers can map out their route and find up-to-date road conditions at KRQE.com.
NMDOT and the city also ask drivers to give the plows plenty of room on the road and to not rush around them.