The I-25 Rio Bravo interchange overhaul is starting to take shape. It’s also causing a lot of backup on the interstate, but the DOT says to be patient, it won’t be like this forever.
The change is causing backup as drivers merge from three lanes to two, a change that has drivers seeing red.
“This project should be done with already. It seems like it’s taking forever to get it done,” said Albuquerque resident Juan Montoya. “Hopefully it’ll get done sooner than we expect it.”
Earlier this week, commuters noticed something different on their drive along I-25 southbound as they approached Rio Bravo.
“It looked like it was backed up from Rio Bravo to the Big-I basically,” said Albuquerque resident Toni Turpen. “I just couldn’t imagine dealing with that every day.”
Sky News 13 flew over the area Friday afternoon and traffic was backed again. The new alignment reduces southbound I-25 from three lanes down to two.
As the fast lane comes to an end, drivers are forced to merge. The DOT says this phase moves drivers from the temporary bridge to the permanent one, but the inside lane still is not done.
The DOT believes drivers will get used to the changes quickly and the backup will be gone for good once the third lane opens. Drivers hope that happens soon.
“I mean that’s the bottom line. When are they going to get it done? Let’s get with it,” Montoya added.
“It’s all messed up now, so when it gets done it will be really nice,” said Albuquerque resident Greg Gaddy.
“In the morning, we have so much traffic from the west side that we need another bridge crossing at this point,” said Ronald Montano, Albuquerque resident. “My honest opinion, but its working out.”
The DOT tells News 13 the third lane will be done by next summer. That is when the whole interchange is expected to be complete.
The $55 million project started in August of last year. Once the interchange is done, the DOT will make I-25 three lanes in each direction before and after Rio Bravo.