Clean-up photos show city’s struggle to keep I-40 clean


Disturbing photos from interstates across Albuquerque show just what clean-up crews are dealing with.

One crew member says it’s a problem that only getting worse. Drivers even say, seeing trash and homeless camps have become a part of their daily commute, and they believe the city can do more. 

Shopping carts, empty liquor bottles, and even campsites are pretty easy to spot along the I-40 corridor. 

“It’s a huge eyesore and I do think we lose jobs we lose good people that move out of the state because of it,” said driver Patricia Ciasena. 

If you look a little closer, rocks in the underpass, riddled with needles, foil, cigarettes and lottery tickets. 

“On the off ramps you see a ton of trash and it’s not well-kept,” Ciasena said. 

A member of a freeway cleanup crew fed up with the trash problem sent pictures of makeshift living spaces to KRQE News 13.

Drivers believe it’s an issue that goes hand in hand with the city’s homeless population. 

“I’m not sure it’s so much cleaning up as it is maintaining, and I don’t mean to sound judgmental but we have a terrible problem when it comes to the homeless,” Ciasena.

According to the New Mexico Department of Transportation, it partners with the city to keep roadsides clean. 

 A spokesperson says when NMDOT crews or a civilian calls in a problem area, that information is given to Albuquerque’s Safe City Strike Force to handle. 

“I just think if there was a schedule, or maybe there is a schedule to where the city goes out periodically and does clean certain times. There’s always room for improvement,” said driver Rossela Martinez. 

The city says crews are sent out everyday to clean up roadsides, but drivers aren’t convinced. 

“I don’t think the city is doing enough. I know they are making an effort and it’s improved but it’s not what it needs to be,” Martinez said. 

KRQE News 13 also asked the city to point out problem areas along I-40, but officials said the entire corridor requires daily clean up. 

The city and the state share the cost of the cleanup along the interstates.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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