The New Mexico Department of Transportation kicked off new road work this weekend along a busy stretch of I-40, between the Big-I and Coors. That means the orange barrels will be back up and the DOT is already saying drivers should expect delays.
While drivers Sunday night didn’t see a slow-down, DOT says crews will bring westbound I-40 down to one lane by the morning commute.
Those driving I-40 westbound Sunday morning say the highway came to a standstill.
“Westbound coming in was like, packed,” said Keren Fenderson, Albuquerque resident.
“It was a nightmare,” said David Diffendorfer, Albuquerque resident. “I was just coming from Presbyterian today and we went over the interchange and it was like as soon as we got to the bottom, it was backed up.”
That backup is a result of a NMDOT project. A spokesman for the department tells us crews will be replacing concrete slabs along the westbound I-40 corridor between the Big-I and Coors.
DOT is already warning drivers to prepare for delays, saying they’ll be reducing traffic to one lane between 8 p.m. and 3 p.m. every day until March 25.
That means the full highway will only be open for five hours each evening. A concerning thought for morning commuters.
“I think it’s terrible,” said Albuquerque resident, Milagros Serrano. “It’s going to create a lot of chaos in a lot of mess.”
“I do have to get a son over to Volcano Vista and we usually take Coors, so it should be an interesting morning commute,” said Rachel Bruacini, Albuquerque resident.
Some motorists think to keep all lanes open during the day and that crews should only work at night.
“The vehicle population has gotten so big that it’s like Albuquerque maybe needs to join the big boy’s cities,” said Diffendorfer. “This kind of work and this kind of construction, do it at night.”
Others say they just appreciate the lanes reopening for the evening commute.
“If the roads need to be repaired what are you gonna do?” Fenderson said. “It’s better to have a little inconvenience than have dangerous roads.”
That construction is also bringing a number of ramp closures with it. Including the I-40 westbound on-ramp at 6th and 12th Streets, the I-25 southbound on-ramp at Comanche and the I-40 westbound off-ramp at Rio Grande.