ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Those who live along I-40 near Unser are annoyed about a new construction project that got underway early last week. The I-40 westbound off-ramp and the eastbound on-ramp at Unser will be closed for the foreseeable future leaving many who live nearby scrambling to find a new route.

“You got to have patience and go up to 98th street and come back in through 98th and Ladera,” Roberto Aragon, who lives nearby, said.

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Neighbors say in a week’s time, it’s already affecting their daily routine. “Ever since the construction started, it used to take me on a good day 20 minutes, 25 to get home. 35 on a bad day. Now, it’s never under 45 minutes and sometimes an hour and 15, an hour and 20 minutes because it backs up all the way north and south,” Kevin O’Leary, a neighbor, said.

The New Mexico Department of Transportation says this is the next phase of the 19-and-a-half-million-dollar I-40 reconstruction project. It’s a total repave, correcting roadway wear and potholes.

The two Unser ramps are scheduled to be open within the next two months, according to NMDOT, but neighbors aren’t holding their breath. “I don’t want to sound like a whiner, but around here, it seems like everything we do in Albuquerque takes way longer,” O’Leary said.

NMDOT says work will be taking place Monday through Friday. The entire project is expected to wrap up by the end of the year.