One of the biggest problem spots for Albuquerque drivers is still a few years away from getting a major makeover.
The New Mexico Department of Transportation has been redoing several sections of I-25 in phases, and the I-25/Montgomery interchange is the next piece to that puzzle.
“It’s always congested out there and they need to open it up. We’re a big city now,” said Ronnie Montoya of Albuquerque.
After years of asking the feds for money to fix it, NMDOT said it finally has the funding to make big changes to help traffic flow.
“By getting rid of the loop ramp, this enables us to continue that fourth lane under the overpass there,” NMDOT’s Assistant District Engineer Jill Mosher said.
Bids for the $46 million project would go out in summer 2020, with construction starting in late 2020 or early 2021.
“I think it’ll bring less congestion right there in that area,” added Tyler Tessman of Albuquerque.
It’s the latest project to have funding secured as NMDOT keeps the focus on updating the I-25 North Corridor.
“We are programming these projects and prioritizing them with the limited budget we get every year,” Mosher added.
A couple of widening projects are already underway: the two-mile stretch along I-25 southbound from San Antonio to Jefferson is set to open in mid-July with four lanes in both directions; and at the I-25/Rio Bravo interchange, a $55 million project will widen the northbound and southbound lanes and reconstruct the interchange by late 2019.
As for upcoming projects, a $7 million project will widen the interstate to three lanes from Rio Bravo to Broadway.
“That project has money programed in 2020 for construction,” Mosher added.
There will be about $12 million toward pavement preservation in a four-mile stretch near Belen, with no current timeframe.
Despite the hassle of construction and the backup that comes with these many projects, these changes are something drivers can get behind.
“It’s a lot of mess right now but one day it’ll be worth it,” Montoya said.
As for work from the Big Eye to the Sunport, NMDOT said right now it doesn’t have the funding to redo the S-curve, which would include new interchanges for Lead, Coal and Cesar Chavez.
NMDOT has said that could cost more than $300 million.