ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Drivers are enjoying the new and improved Frontage Road. It’s located between Central and MLK.
The improvements stop suddenly, making the rough road leading up to the I-25 on-ramp more noticeable.
“It was getting dangerous because there was a study done that showed that there wasn’t enough room between the exits between MLK and Lomas, and so that was a big portion as to why that decision was made,” said NMDOT Spokesperson Kimberly Gallegos.
When the DOT removed the MLK off-ramp to extend Lead’s merge lane on I-25 last year, they knew they had the chance to fix the Frontage Road down below.
Traffic congestion and crashes were common on that cramped stretch between Central and MLK.
The redone Frontage Road now has four lanes, and the median and stop sign are gone. Locals recall the confusion before the makeover.
“I think it was a little rough before, but it’s a lot smoother now,” said resident Gary Roybal.
Residents said the renovations have improved their commute and made it feel less chaotic.
“Just made it safer and definitely makes me feel like I can enter the highway easier,” explained resident Brant Morrison.
“From a functional standpoint, those of us who use those roadways every day are gonna be much happier,” said resident Mark Baca.
However, there is one noticeable issue. Once drivers get past the MLK intersection, the 300-foot stretch of frontage leading to the I-25 on-ramp is rough.
The DOT said that section of the road will have to wait for another day.
“In the scope of this project, that stretch that you’re referring to was not included. Mainly because the biggest issue here was to close that northbound ramp, and we didn’t want to create any more traffic on that frontage road than we had to at this time,” said Gallegos.
The project cost $2.9 million and should be finished in the next few weeks, but there shouldn’t be any more closures.
If you drive through there, you’ll notice the embankment along the interstate hasn’t been landscaped.
We asked the DOT if that’s coming in the future. The DOT that’s the city’s responsibility. The city’s Municipal Development Department told said there are no plans to landscape it right now.