ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The pandemic changed a lot of things in New Mexico. How did traffic patterns around the metro change? Well, it might surprise you to know that some areas are seeing more traffic than pre-pandemic levels.

A traffic map from the Mid Region Council of Governments shows the amount of traffic that passes through certain areas daily. “This map helps us to detail out those types of issues when looking at a construction project,” Kimberly Gallegos with the New Mexico Department of Transportation explained.

It doesn’t come as a surprise that the 2021 traffic flow map for the greater Albuquerque area shows that most people travel around the big I – with numbers reaching more than 200,000 vehicles daily. If you look north at I-25 and Montgomery, that area is considered red on the map, which is why the state has a project in the works to help alleviate some of that congestion. “There’s just a lot more people traveling through our state, and especially during rush hour, we are seeing an increase in that kind of backup,” Gallegos said.


Story continues below:


Another high-traffic area is at Coors and Paseo del Norte – with more than 44,000 vehicles moving through the area. In fact, 5 of the 14 intersections that saw increased traffic after the pandemic are located on Paseo del Norte. 

A road project along i-40 near Coors to fix potholes and other damage is almost done. “That one is actually tackling from Coors to 98th Street,” Gallegos said.

The Department of Transportation says it’s working its way down I-25 headed south and will eventually get to work on the “S” curve. The state is also looking at a Gibson interchange. “It’s just a heavy traffic area because it is near the airport, it is near the stadium, it is near Just a couple of stadiums. A lot of you know, college traffic uses that area as well,” Gallegos said. 

The map also shows the Rio Bravo Bridge has more than 30,000 vehicles using it daily. DOT says drivers in the metro can expect ongoing changes and road improvement projects as more people move to Albuquerque. 

Thirteen of the top 25 busiest intersections in the metro area have exceeded pre-COVID daily volumes, including Unser. According to Albuquerque’s Department of Municipal Development, the city is in its design phase for a project to widen Unser.