Research shows city in dire need of highway repairs

Posted at: 09/06/2013 6:36 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Just in time for the ground-breaking on the long awaited Paseo/I-25 project, a national transportation research group is out with a list of the state’s other badly-needed road projects. Albuquerque has two of the top five.

I-25 south of downtown is the local leader. The Washington, D.C. based TRIP organization recommends the ripping down and rebuilding of the Gibson, Cesar Chavez and Lead/Coal interchanges, along with the straightening of the notorious “S” curve the highway makes south of Lead/Coal. Price tag on that? $200 million.

“I-25 is definitely a scary freeway to drive on,” said local driver Janine Lauscher. “I don’t know what they can do about it. I mean the speeding and basically the accidents that happen along there. That’s my most frightening driving experience.”

Then there’s I-25 north of the Big I. TRIP calls for rebuild jobs on the Comanche, Montgomery, San Mateo and San Antonio interchanges, for $125 miilion.

“The frontage road on the west side, I mean you gotta go for miles,” said city driver Mark Braddock. “You get off at San Antonio and you can’t get back on the freeway or off the freeway until you get back down to Lomas.”

Well, it’s close to that bad, anyway.

Highway engineers and state lawmakers call this a wish list. Where will the money come from? It could take years to get around to those projects. In the meantime, though, work on the Paseo/I-25 interchange will get going full blast right after the Balloon Fiesta.