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I-40 spruce-up may cause restrictions west of Big I

I-40 GETTING A FACELIFT: Paul asks via email “about the I-40 construction about to begin at Unser to the bridge, going east. DOT sign says it will be ongoing into spring 2019. Might you have information about this construction?”

The New Mexico Department of Transportation does.

Spokeswoman Emilee Cantrell says the $7.9 million project is a “roadway rehabilitation to consist of PCCP – Portland Cement Concrete Pavement, i.e. concrete pavement – repair on westbound/eastbound I-40 between Rio Grande and 6th, 2.574 miles.”

Work began Aug. 18, and the contract “has a mandatory completion date of April 30, 2019.” While drivers will experience single-lane restrictions during daytime hours, that will not be allowed during morning rush hour eastbound (5:30-9 a.m.) and afternoon rush hour westbound (3-8 p.m.). And “work that requires restricting more than one lane is planned for nighttime.”

CENTRAL TURN SIGNALS IN WORKS: Jim asks in an email “Why are there virtually no left-turn signals for the cross streets of Central in the Nob Hill area? Several of the cross streets have left turn lanes, but no signals.”

Jim says that “while having the left-turn lanes help the through traffic somewhat, they do nothing to help the flow of people attempting to turn left. … When making a left turn onto said streets most people have to wait for the yellow light and maybe even the red light, which technically is breaking the law as one should not enter an intersection if one doesn’t expect to be able to clear the intersection before the light turns red.”

Joanie Griffin of Griffin & Associates, who is handling information for the ART bus construction project on Central, says “we are replacing the temporary lights intersection by intersection, and as those come online there are signaled left turns.”

METHOD BEHIND SOLID WHITE LINES? Steve Vigil emails “are there any regulations or specifications that determine the length of the solid white lines at lighted intersections? Something I’ve heard is that their length indicates the stopping distance required for someone traveling at the speed limit when the light turns yellow. While I think this is a great idea, my observations indicate that’s probably not the case.”

His observations are right. Robert Baker, Bernalillo County’s traffic control administrator, says “the length of the solid line is not based on sight distance or the speed limit. They are there to indicate the crossing or changing lanes is restricted.”

Editorial page editor D’Val Westphal tackles commuter issues for the Metro area on Mondays. Reach her at 823-3858;; or P.O. Drawer J, Albuquerque, N.M. 87103.