Gaps in I-40 overpass create concern for pedestrians


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s a long way down from the top of the I-40, Coors overpass to the bottom where traffic is zooming by; KRQE News 13 has uncovered gaps between the fence and the walkway that may be big enough for someone to fall through.

The entire structure is metal until you get to the end, where there is a chain link fence on both sides.

Someone has striped part of the fence, big enough for someone small to slip through. The overpass has always been a pesky problem for the New Mexico Department of Transportation because of graffiti. Spokesperson, Bernadette Bell, said crews are out there 4-5 times cleaning up after taggers. It’s become such a problem the NMDOT has now involved police.

“We are working right now with law enforcement to try and detour these taggers from returning,” Bell said. “Every time we go out there it takes man power, material, equipment and we often use state police to help us close a lane of traffic.”

People who use the pedestrian bridge often, have noticed more than just graffiti. They’ve noticed large gaps in the fences. Taggers have started destroying parts of the fence to get to the outside of the bridge, but the NMDOT is still trying to figure out exactly how they’re doing it.

KRQE News 13 also noticed gaps in the mesh fence some of them high above the speeding traffic on I-40, but the DOT doesn’t believe those gaps are the work of taggers.

“According to our crews and maintenance engineers, the dips are caused by bowing in the heat. It makes the metal expands and contract,” Bell said.

DOT said it planned to have crews check up on the dips to see how significant the gaps are.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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