ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – One of the busiest commuter stretches in New Mexico is about to go under the knife for eight months.
While drivers will love the end-result on I-25 between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, getting to that point will not be fun.
“There’s a lot of wear and tear on that roadway… we have a lot of drivers that commute to and from Albuquerque to Santa Fe,” said Kim Gallegos with the New Mexico Department of Transportation.
People like Jeff Renfrow, who’s a truck driver based out of Rio Rancho.
“I come through at least once a week, sometimes, twice, sometimes, two or three times,” Renfrom said.
Because of the heavy traffic, the DOT says it’s time for a makeover.
“Basically, after a certain period of time, there’s only so much we can do to preserve the highway so this is just another step we’re taking to do an overlay, and kind of smooth out that roadway so that there’s not like uneven areas, bumps, such as potholes,” said Gallegos.
Come Monday, crews will start the work on the eight-mile stretch I-25 from the bottom of La Bajada to the Cerrillos exit in Santa Fe.
“We expect to have both lanes open and running through while commuters get to Santa Fe, but work needs to be done on this roadway,” Gallegos said.
The DOT will try to work around the heavy commute times by keeping both northbound lanes open from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and both southbound lanes open from four to 6 p.m.
“Definitely take it slow. Give yourself time to get to your destination, and have patience with us,” said Gallegos.
Drivers aren’t thrilled, but say, it’ll be worth it.
“Not real happy about that but while it’s going on, it slows traffic down, but after the road’s fixed, it’s a good thing,” said Renfrow.
The project is scheduled to be complete by November 13. The cost is $17 million.