ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A big sewer line project expected to take months is frustrating drivers in downtown. It has people wondering why the work is taking so long, and why the Water Authority couldn’t do it from a less busy intersection.
The commute into downtown Thursday morning reached a standstill for drivers who were squeezed into one lane along Lead starting at Broadway, with backup nearly reaching the interstate.
“Twenty minutes, you know, to pass one red light,” Adriana Gallegos of Albuquerque said.
“We’re in the midst of rehabilitating a 54-inch sewer line that runs through that intersection,” David Morris with the Water Authority explained about the ongoing work at Lead and Broadway. “That’s obviously causing some traffic problems there while we get that fixed.”
The fact the work at this gateway into downtown is expected to last into July has many people on edge.
“I smelled it the other day when I passed by there, but they just need to figure out a better way of directing traffic,” Gallegos said.
Morris said it’s tricky work to replace the aging sewer line along Broadway between Lead and Pacific.
“[It’s] what’s called slip-lining, and we’re able to get a new pipe and basically insert it into the old pipe and the old pipe just stays in place,” he stated. “There was just no avoiding this situation at that intersection.”
The Water Authority hopes to have the work done at the intersection by mid-to-late July, but said the rest of the project will be ongoing into September.