Changes could make Paseo traffic tricky

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Drivers who plan on taking Paseo del Norte during Monday morning’s commute, should be prepared for a tight squeeze.

Road crews finished up early with a set of temporary west and eastbound lanes as the massive Paseo/I-25 reconstruction project rolls on.

The drive down Paseo del Norte is dotted with orange traffic cones and cement barriers.

Now, even more have popped up.

“Tomorrow, they will have to get used to this new alignment,” Phil Gallegos with NM DOT said.

East and westbound traffic west of the interstate have shifted onto new, temporary lanes that are smaller in size.

“Through that short portion there, there’s going to be a lot of congestion, a lot of heavy traffic,” Gallegos said.

Crews made the changes last night, finishing a day early.

“It’s been a real nuisance for us,” one driver said.

And already, some drivers are less than thrilled.

“It’s been hard,” Andrea Romero said.

Many are concerned about the tight squeeze and winding roads.

“It’s a little tight, a little hairy in spots,” Paseo commuter Chris Rockett said. “Pay attention! It goes right to left quickly. “It’s kind of a zig-zag, so just pay attention where the lanes are.”

Transportation officials say they need everyone’s help to make the transition an easy one.

“We’re really going to need their help on this, to slow down and pay attention,” Gallegos said.

Lane closures are in effect along Jefferson, too. Officials say if it’s possible, find another route, as traffic is expected to be a bit of a headache the first couple of days.

Officials say the warmer weather we’ve seen this winter has helped the Paseo/I-25 project stay on track.

It’s set to be finished at the end of the year.

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