La Bajada near Santa Fe to get massive revamp

Traffic and Roads

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The state believes there’s a serious problem under I-25 on La Bajada, which is built into the rolling hills just south of Santa Fe. The earth under the interstate is constantly shifting and settling, and now it needs an extensive revamp.

The Department of Transportation says erosion is the reason why the road is deteriorating underneath, causing some major structural concerns. The state says the problems are from when the road was widened in the 1950s and then again in the 1980s.

During a meeting last month, the DOT explained they plan on repaving the entire three and a half-mile stretch of highway, which is constantly cracking and splitting. On top of that, they plan on adding a third southbound lane.

All of this will be accomplished by digging deep into the hill and placing columns to support the road itself. There are also landslide concerns next to the southbound lanes.

They hope to do all this work without creating a nightmare commute. They say they will not be shutting anything down to a one-lane scenario.

Right now, the DOT only has $18 million of the $41 million they need to complete the project. They hope to start construction in two years and it could take up to nine months to complete. The project will also include widening the merging lanes at exit 264, near Cochiti, after the DOT got complaints that the roadway was too short to merge safely.

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