Construction projects causing delays for I-40 travelers

New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – If you’ve traveled down I-40 between the Arizona border and Albuquerque recently, you’ve likely had to sit through a lot of traffic.

“That was definitely the roughest we’ve been through,” said Michael Garcia.

Garcia and his family just made the drive from Phoenix to Albuquerque to visit family and was stuck for close to an hour.

“After we had crossed the border coming in from Arizona, we had just passed Gallup, and then between Gallup and Grants we ran into some extremely rough traffic,” Garcia said.

KRQE News 13 captured video of the backup near Gallup, as cars are crawling down the interstate. At times, the lines of cars and semis didn’t even move.

“There are three different projects going on on I-40 right now,” said Marisa Maez with NMDOT.

The first project starts at mile marker 119, about six miles east of Laguna. The second is at exit 39, about 18 miles east of Gallup, north of Jamestown. And the third project is at Manuelito Canyon, about four miles from the New Mexico-Arizona state line.

“All of the projects are rehabilitating roadways and bridges that were built decades ago, and they are badly in need of repair for safety reasons,” said Maez.

Drivers say the worst traffic is near Gallup. DOT said depending on the time of day, you could be waiting anywhere from one to four hours.

“What we just want to remind travelers to do is try to travel in the morning and preferably before 2 p.m. in the afternoon if possible,” she said.

DOT said the project near the Arizona state line and the project near Laguna are both wrapping up shortly. The Gallup project, however, is a three-phase project. They are just in phase one which is expected to be over by July 22.

DOT said phase two of the Gallup projects won’t start until spring. In its entirety, it’s expected to take two years.

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