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Work on Louisiana and I-40 begins this week

LOUISIANA INTERCHANGE REVAMP STARTS: On Wednesday, crews will begin work on the westbound Interstate 40 on- and off-ramps at Louisiana, as well as on the interchange.

The $4.9 million project is scheduled to run through August, according to a news release from the New Mexico Department of Transportation. The first phase, primarily bridge work, will run through early May, involve some lane closures and will have all work done overnight, from 9 p.m. to 5:30 a.m.

The second phase, roughly May through August, will see the ramps closed and work running 24/7.

The project is being paid for with state and federal dollars .

MORE RAMP CLOSED SIGNS ON I-25: Ken reported last week that there is little to no warning that the San Antonio exit on northbound Interstate 25 is closed while crews add a southbound highway lane and a northbound ramp lane.

That means drivers who either miss the lone sign at Jefferson or get on the interstate at Jefferson or San Mateo have no idea they will have to get off much farther down the highway and double back if their destination is off San Antonio.

Kimberly Gallegos, who handles information for NMDOT’s District 3 Office, says “there is one message board located on the shoulder of I-25 under the Jefferson bridge notifying drivers that San Antonio is closed, but for those getting onto the interstate from Jefferson, it is unclear because they don’t see the message board. I have brought this to the contractors attention and it should be fixed today (Feb. 27). Thank you for the heads up.”

And on Friday, NMDOT sent out a news release announcing “the New Mexico Department of Transportation reminds motorists of ramp closures for the I-25 San Antonio to Jefferson construction project. The department has also started using overhead dynamic message boards to alert traffic during peak hours of ramp closures on I-25 both northbound and southbound of the project.”

Those closures are the San Antonio off-ramp on northbound I-25, and the San Mateo and Jefferson off-ramps on southbound I-25.

SPEEDERS OUT OF HAND: And pmontano2 emails “the speed vans, not the red-light cameras, need to be reinstated. The speeders are getting out of hand – 50 mph in a 30 mph zone – which means lost revenue to the city by not issuing citations for speeding. I am especially concerned about Ouray NW between Coors Road and Ladera Drive. But as I said, speeders are getting out of hand everywhere.”

The Albuquerque Police Department has advised that anyone with speed/traffic concerns can call the non-emergency number, 242-COPS, or contact their local substation to request speed trailers, extra patrols, etc. The six area command numbers are:

• Foothills Area Command, 332-5240

• Northeast Area Command, 823-4455

• Southeast Area Command, 256-2050

• Valley Area Command, 761-8800

• Southwest Area Command, 831-4705

• Northwest Area Command, 768-4850

MORE ON DELAYED BIRTH CERTIFICATES: After a recent column discussed Real ID and delayed birth certificates – those issued based on supporting documents to folks who never got a birth certificate in the first place – reader Kent Argubright had this to add:

While he was able to get a Real ID driver’s license with his delayed birth certificate, reader Ken Argubright had to assemble this stack of paperwork to get a U.S. passport. (Source Courtesy of Ken Argubright)

“I have a delayed-issue birth certificate like (the earlier reader mentioned) and the MVD accepted it without question for issue of a Real ID compliant license.

“FYI, the U.S. Passport office did not accept a delayed-issue birth certificate when I applied for a U.S. Passport. I tried for a year to satisfy them, but was unsuccessful until I contacted my Congresswoman’s office, Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham. Her staff was successful in helping me to provide the documentation necessary to satisfy the U.S. Passport office.”

That documentation included: “parent’s birth certificates, notarized affidavits from five family members who were aware of birth and infant care, baptismal records. The amount of documentation was a pile 3/4 of an inch tall. Constituent services were a godsend.”

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.