ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Drivers say congestion from the construction along three major roads to get to the west side has added up to an hour to their commute and when they try to take another route they’re faced with even more orange barrels.
Construction on westbound Alameda, westbound Central at Atrisco and westbound I-40 has drivers’ patience wearing thin as they sit idling in bumper-to-bumper traffic during peak commute times. “People are impatient and they are trying to get around and they are honking their horns and it’s just crazy out there,” said one Albuquerque driver.
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A New Mexico Department of Transportation spokesperson says two out of the three construction projects are being overseen by the city which are for Water Authority and New Mexico Gas Company improvements on Central at Atrisco. As for the project along Alameda, a city spokesperson with the Department of Municipal Development says it’s for road repairs ahead of Balloon Fiesta. The third project along I-40 falls under the state and is being done to fix potholes and other damage from 98th Street down to Coors. “It’s just a total repave; there’s so much commercial traffic that travels through there that our road tends to deteriorate faster along that stretch,” Said NMDOT Spokesperson, Kimberly Gallegos.
Even though Gallegos says the repairs are a priority, drivers say they still want to know why the projects weren’t planned out better, since one of the only options left to get to the west side is Montano, which is already congested. “It seems like everywhere you go they are doing construction and it’s an inconvenience. The city should have a better plan on how they do their construction routes and site because it’s a mess,” said another Albuquerque driver.
Gallegos says she understands driver’s frustration but says there’s a limit as to when these projects can be done. “We do collaborate with the city we do work together to coordinate our schedules, however sometimes this does occur because we are in the summer months that’s usually our ramp up time for construction,” added Gallegos.
Gallegos says crews are working around the clock to help alleviate congestion and prevent any more back-ups during the day, especially during rush hour. She says construction on westbound I-40 should be completed this fall. The city says the work on Central should be done soon but the work on Alameda could be done closer to Balloon Fiesta