ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – It’s been open less than a month, but part of the Paseo, I-25 interchange is already showing signs of wear.
The state said drivers are flying through the flyover and damaging it.
“The project was $93 million and they’re already marking it up, what can I say?” asked Department of Transportation Spokesperson Phil Gallegos.
The Paseo project took the DOT more than a year to complete. But not even a month after its grand opening, the newly constructed interchange now has dents, dings and scuffs.
“I scratch my head sometimes trying to figure out how that was accomplished unless they used a paint brush, but obviously it was a vehicle and it’s pretty unnerving,” said Gallegos.
He says careless driving is to blame.
“Either they are changing lanes at a high rate of speed, cut somebody off, force somebody into the wall or they have to go into the wall to avoid some kind of accident,” he said.
The speed limit on the flyover is 40 miles-per-hour. Monday, News 13 caught drivers clearly ignoring that and driving well over the posted limit.
Some say they’re now hesitant to even hop on the new overpass.
“Albuquerque drivers make me really nervous. They drive really fast, really reckless,” said Bobbie Archibeque.
But that’s not all that’s plaguing the new interchange. There’s also a line of graffiti along the westbound barrier.
Gallegos said when his crews have to fix and repaint areas like Paseo it puts other repairs on hold.
He said he’s frustrated the costly Paseo project is turning into another eyesore in town.
“For lack of a better canvas, I guess they decided the interstate is the place where they can go out and do whatever they want with a sharpie, paint or whatever,” said Gallegos.
The state says it doesn’t cost much to fix the damage, it’s just frustrating.