ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) has a big project to-do list in the Albuquerque area, ranging from complete overhauls of some of the busiest interchanges along I-25 to much-needed pavement work.
The department shared its biggest priorities on Wednesday with a senate committee in Santa Fe as the state figures out to do with all the new oil money. Work on the I-25 and Montgomery interchange tops the list.
“I’m sure everybody’s noticed that coming down that corridor, things tend to back up around Montgomery,” Kimberly Gallegos with NMDOT said.
The morning and evening commute along that stretch of I-25 has been a traffic nightmare for years.
“So, we’re going to reconstruct that whole area and have new ramps, I think a new bridge, new on and off-ramps to include all the way to Comanche,” Gallegos explained.
The $70 million project is the next planned improvement work along the I-25 corridor now that the two-mile stretch from San Antonio to Jefferson has been expanded to four lanes, and the interchange work is complete at I-25 and Rio Bravo.
The proposed Montgomery work is partially designed, and NMDOT is asking lawmakers this session for the rest of the funding to start construction there and on four other projects they say are urgent.
“A lot of these projects are to address capacity issues and also safety issues,” Gallegos stated.
The other projects include a $90 million complete overhaul of the I-25 and Gibson interchange; and millions more for pavement preservation work on I-40 from Carnuel to Sedillo Hill in the East Mountains and from heavily-traveled Coors to Atrisco Vista on Albuquerque’s west side.
“We’re just trying to preserve our existing roadways and just make our roads safer for the traveling public,” Gallegos said.
Last year, DOT said the I-25/Montgomery interchange work would cost $46 million. Officials say the price jump to $70 million comes from building a new bridge over the interstate.
Officials say if the funding comes through this year for the interchanges, they hope Montgomery could be finished by 2023, and Gibson would be done the following year.