Some drivers say they are being given the runaround where crews are fixing sewer and water lines, but the Water Authority insists it has to do these projects now.
Orange cones and barricades leading up to Broadway direct people to make a right turn with drivers lining up to make a U-turn in a sea of red tail lights.
“You have to find alternate routes and there’s going to be a lot more traffic,” Robert Esquibel of Albuquerque said.
“It has caused problems for me just driving into work,” Jenice White of Bosque Farms added.
“We’re having to replace a fairly lengthy section of sewer line there along Broadway,” David Morris with the Water Authority explained.
Morris added that the work on the 54-year-old line is also reducing northbound and southbound Broadway to one lane, with no left turns at Iron or Lead until project completion in September.
While it may cause a headache for drivers, the department said it is part of a constant rotation of infrastructure work.
“There are about 3,000 miles, for instance, of sewer line in the Albuquerque area,” Morris stated. “That’s a lot of infrastructure that has to be maintained, and about 2,500 miles of water line.”
There are 10 water and sewer projects on tap for this summer across Albuquerque that he says will likely impact drivers.
One project already underway is another sewer line fix happening through August along Caesar Chavez between University and I-25. That could slow traffic heading to and from Isotopes games.
Additionally, a waterline replacement on Atrisco from Central to just south of I-40 will likely hurt the morning commute from August through March.
The Water Authority doesn’t know yet where the traffic impacts will be for the other projects coming this summer. The department estimates all 10 projects will cost between $12 million and $13 million.
For a list of the Water Authority’s planned summer construction projects, click here.