ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – There were big changes Monday for the Paseo/I-25 project and they are causing big back-ups.
A new chapter of the construction project is doubling or tripling commute times for a lot of drivers.
Before the sun came up, it was the traffic that was backed up.
“It was a mess!” Britney Regenold said of her trip to work.
“It was a rough start to the morning,” Brian Roybal said.
The commute for drivers this morning was a major wake-up call.
“I was in traffic for 30, 40 minutes and it was just really slow stop and go traffic,” Regenold said, who works just off of Paseo in the heart of the most recent project. “So, I was late to work.”
And she wasn’t the only one.
The new setup along Paseo west of the interstate has both directions down to two lanes – from Jefferson to the railroad tracks. Those lanes are pretty narrow, causing a bottleneck effect.
“It was backed up all the way from Jefferson to 2nd Street,” Roybal said. “I was still late to work.”
Transportation officials say this didn’t come as a surprise.
“Typically, there will be backups for a while until people get used to navigating around the new traffic conditions,” construction manager Sally Reeves said.
For the evening rush hour, things weren’t much different and it’s going to be that way for the near future. Paseo will be down to two lanes throughout summer and into the fall.
“Be patient as you’re going through these congested areas,” Reeves said.
Jefferson will be slow moving, too, with lane closures in both directions.
“The traffic is going to be there with the construction,” Regenold said. “The construction isn’t going anywhere.”
So rather than focus on the present, many are looking toward the future.
“It will help us in the long run,” Roybal said. “It will be easier for the customers to come out here.”
The lane closures are allowing crews to work on the permanent eastbound lane for the project. All of this is prep work for that big flyover drivers will be using when the project is finished in December.
Officials say while things were slow moving this morning, there weren’t any crashes.