LOS LUNAS, N.M. (KRQE) – The Village of Los Lunas is finally getting the money it needs to build another interchange and river crossing, a project that is two decades in the making.

The Village says the state has now set aside $55 million for the project, which they think will eventually alleviate heavy traffic.

“I think anybody who has been on the roadways on Los Lunas, in the morning, or in the afternoons, understands the need for the project. We’re having back up’s on traffic from the river at times all the way to the freeway,” said Mayor Charles Griego.

Phase one will include construction on that new I-25 interchange, a mile and a half south of the current one. It will include a two-lane road to the river, and a new four-lane bridge over the Rio Grande, connecting I-25 to NM-47.

Village officials say the new interchange and bridge will alleviate heavy traffic along the main street, a problem that’s only gotten worse with the population increase in Valencia County.

Mayor Greigo says the traffic situation is an inconvenience and dangerous.

Right now, the project is still in the design phase. Phase one of the project is expected to cost about $60 million. The Village is pitching money too. Griego says he expects construction to begin at the end of 2021 and could take up to three years to finish.

Phase two which will cost about $30 million has not yet been funded. That project will add two lanes to the four-mile road between I-25 and Highway 47.