ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A week after a flash flood cracked open and washed out part of Albuquerque’s I-40 arroyo, NMDOT said it’s close to fixing all the damage.
NMDOT has been working day and night, even through the weekend, to repair the washout which undercut not just the arroyo but some of the driving lanes.
“I’ve lived in New Mexico and just to see the channel overflowing like that was quite crazy,” said Kimberly Gallegos with NMDOT.
A week ago, the channel under the San Pedro Bridge on I-40 was completely washed out and flooded.
“The channel was bubbling over with water because of that one piece that was stuck to the pier,” said Gallegos.
That wasn’t even the worst of it. The state was forced to close some east and westbound lanes on I-40 after the water blew out the underlying roadbed.
“We have hauled 800 cubic yards of material into the channel to backfill those holes,” said Gallegos.
Now, after days of repair, NMDOT claimed the work is nearly done.
Starting Thursday, crews will start pouring concrete into the channel to refill holes.
“We are going to get a concrete truck in on the eastbound lanes to pour over on the westbound wall, so we’re not going to bring any concrete trucks to the westbound side. We’re just going to try to work from one side but approach both of those walls from that angle,” explained Gallegos.
Gallegos said working in the channel has been a challenge with the continued threat of heavy rain since the storm.
“Even a little bit of water in that channel, with our equipment and our manpower in there, is very dangerous,” said Gallegos. “We did have to pull out our trucks one day when the rain was coming down pretty hard, and we didn’t want to have any accidents or any incidents in the channel.”
Crews have since scooped all of the broken concrete out of the arroyo.
“It took a long time to break that up and actually load it into the dump trucks and get it out of there,” said Gallegos.
As long as the weather cooperates, Gallegos expects the project to wrap up and all lanes to re-open by the end of this week.
DOT said they have an emergency fund that will cover the cost of repairs.