ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Time-wise, crews are more than halfway through the Paseo/I-25 makeover. Work-wise, they’re not at the halfway point yet. But work on the big stuff is starting, including the centerpiece, the giant flyover.
For about eight months now, commuters have been re-routed and slowed down around the area. Now, construction is ramping up even more.
Traffic through the ever-changing I-25, Paseo interchange project is something drivers are constantly adjusting to. “The roads have just been a little bit more cluttered, and a little bit more messy to drive, I don’t really like it at all,” said Suzanne Yazzie.
There’s the bottleneck at Paseo Del Norte and Jefferson that’s added travel time for commuters. And the vast work zone is getting busier.
“It’s changed the route we take to work in the morning,” said Marisa DeAragon. “I would say [it’s added] 15 to 20 minutes.”
Now eight months in, workers have started on the biggest chunk of construction, a 1,300 ft. flyover from I-25 north to westbound Paseo.
“They’ve already started with the drill shafts, drilled a couple of those, there’s a couple more that need to be put in so we can put the columns up to support the flyovers,” explained Phil Gallegos, spokesman for New Mexico Department of Transportation.
NM DOT officials said they’ll reconfigure the off-ramp at Paseo. And when it’s time to hang the support beams for the flyover, there will be some full closures at night.
“We try to do as much as we can outside of peak times so that we don’t impact you know people going to and from work,” said Gallegos.
Gallegos said the $93 million project is about 40 percent complete, and on schedule to be done by years end.
“I think it’s something that was needed and I’m looking forward to it being done, I think it’ll alleviate a lot of traffic issues,” said DeAragon.
Alleviating traffic is something drivers are looking forward to.
I-25 northbound was completely closed Wednesday night at San Antonio. Crews are trying to finish work on that on-ramp.
There are a couple other huge elements of the project. Right now, they’re laying the girders for the Jefferson bridge over Paseo. Later in the year, they’ll do the seamless ramp from eastbound Paseo to southbound I-25, which is something morning commuters have been dying for for years.