ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – People driving along I-40 in the East Mountains are having a lot more encounters with rumble strips. They were installed during a recent repaving project and are different than the ones drivers are used to. While they were thought to be a paving mistake, the New Mexico Department of Transportation tells News 13 they are very intentional.
Drivers who pass through I-40 in the Tijeras Canyon are getting a wake-up call when they start to veer even a little out of their lane. Unlike an average rumble strip, these are slightly on the inside of the white line, designed to get drivers’ attention sooner.
Kimberly Gallegos with NMDOT said this is a new strategy supported by the Federal Highway Administration. It’s being implemented on busy corridors throughout the country to help distracted drivers.
NMDOT said these types of rumble strips are also more visible during wet nighttime conditions and improve durability in areas with frequent snowplowing. Another area where New Mexico drivers will find the rumble strips is on the US 550 corridor in Bernalillo.
“It’s something new it will probably take drivers some time to get used to that if they do veer a little bit,” said Gallegos.
There’s been some concern when it comes to rumble strips on I-40. The repaving project didn’t include the shoulders, so there is a drop in lane elevation. When drivers catch the rumble strips it pulls the vehicle over, drivers have expressed concern. NMDOT said it will look at that.
They said the second phase of the repaving project is still planned from Tijeras East, which should start sometime in January.