Construction at busy Albuquerque intersection causing major confusion


A construction project at a westside Albuquerque intersection that kicked off in June 2018 is supposed to ease congestion. However, drivers in the area say the temporary closures are confusing and potentially dangerous. 

The intersection of Unser and Central looks like a maze, with hundreds of cones, barrels, barriers and signs blocking lanes in all direction

“It’s very hectic and I think a lot of people are getting very frustrated,” said Andrew Ortiz a resident of Albuquerque’s westside. “It’s hard to see where you’re going because the lanes are always changing.”

The sea of orange has been causing a back up in traffic since June and isn’t expected to be done until this summer. 

“I’ve spent 15, 20 sometimes 30 minutes just waiting to get through,” said Ortiz.

The $6 million upgrades being made are expected to alleviate congestion at one of Albuquerque’s busiest intersections. 

There will be more lanes, bike lanes and it will be ADA compliant. 

During the groundbreaking, City Councilor Ken Sanchez said the city’s main priority was keeping the area safe both for drivers and pedestrians. 

But Ortiz says the construction has been chaotic with the high traffic volume passing through the area. He says the construction is causing major confusion, especially at night. 

“If you’re making a turn, you don’t know where you’re going and there is oncoming traffic coming in so it’s a potential accident that’s going to happen,” said Ortiz. 

He says he’s grateful that the city is giving the area some much-needed attention, but says the project is just taking too long. 

KRQE News 13 reached out to the city’s Municipal Development Department for comment. A spokesman sent the following statement:

“This is the first complaint we are hearing of any traffic pattern complaints at the Unser and Central reconstruction project. Construction can be frustrating, but it’s necessary for the future growth around that intersection and the growing west side.” 

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