Year after Paseo construction, other Albuquerque traffic projects in the works

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The intersection of Coors Boulevard and Paseo del Norte is one that drivers have good reason to fear.

Data from the Mid-Region Council of Governments shows it had, far and away, the highest crash rate in the city between 2009 and 2013.

It’s not the only problem spot. The eastbound I-40 off ramp at Louisiana Boulevard often has more cars than it can handle with two malls and Albuquerque Uptown just north of the freeway.

“I think you’re looking at a high employment district, a high shopping district,” said Augusta Meyers with MRCOG.

MRCOG data also shows Tramway Boulevard, as it crosses underneath I-25, is a nasty spot for traffic during the morning rush, while Central west of 98th street is a huge afternoon trouble area.

In at least one recent case, the city wasn’t hesitant to step in when it came to traffic problems. The city footed most of the bill for the $93 million Paseo and I-25 interchange, even though neither are city roads.

For Paseo and Coors, Melissa Lozoya with Albuquerque’s Municipal Development Department says she isn’t aware of a fix in the works. However, the New Mexico Department of Transportation tells KRQE News 13 there is a rehabilitation of that intersection that’s currently in the design phase.

As for Louisiana and I-40, DOT says starting January 2016, crews will work to widen the off-ramp so that there will be three left-turn lanes. That project could take a year.

Meyers says because MRCOG data shows that, over the last decade, people are driving about 10 percent less in the region and money is tight, big ticket projects like Paseo and I-25 are harder and harder to get done.

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