ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Tuesday, crews shut down the eastbound I-40 off-ramp at Louisiana. The off-ramp will be closed for about 30 days.
When the project is all done, the New Mexico Department of Transportation says an additional left turn lane will be added onto northbound Louisiana.
“That off-ramp carries about 19,000 cars on any average week day,” said Bernadette Bell with the New Mexico DOT.
It’s the same exit drivers take to visit Uptown, Coronado Center and Winrock.
“When it’s all done, we will be adding an additional left turn lane onto northbound Louisiana,” said Bell.
New Mexico DOT is asking drivers to use back roads during the month-long closure. As a last resort, Bell said take the exits before or after.
“There is a lot of retail in the area and more retail shops coming along, and we can only hope that this will at least help in easing some of that congestion,” said Bell.
This is the second major phase in the project to help ease heavy traffic and also repair crumbling cracks in the ground. Before this, crews shut down the eastbound I-40 on-ramp. But drivers know this latest closure is where the real headache begins.
“It’s a very populated area and even without closing, it’s already pretty busy,” said one driver.
“I think for a lot of people, it will be a problem,” said another driver.
Drivers also said they know the hassle will be worth it in the end.
“Sometimes you have to wait a little bit to get the benefits of better highways,” said another driver.
The project is set to cost $3.7 million.