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I-40 patches requires a more concrete solution

THE HARD(END) FACTS ABOUT I-40 WORK: Caller Robin Romero asks why crews are pouring in squares of concrete next to asphalt that is full of potholes on Interstate 40 from the Big I west – why not just repave that whole stretch?

Kimberly Gallegos, public information officer for the New Mexico Department of Transportation District Three office, explains the interstate “from Fourth Street to just past the river in both directions on I-40 is concrete.

“What may appear to be asphalt in that area is patching materials that are used as a temporary fix for potholes that pop up in the concrete over time. The permanent fix is to break out the slab and repour the concrete, which is what is being done with the ongoing I-40 construction project.”

And she adds that “there may be confusion as well because currently crews are installing weigh-in-motion stations in the portion after the bridge, which is in fact asphalt. Both the loops and the scales need to be placed in the asphalt in order to install the weigh-in-motion stations on both sides of the interstate.”

But Robin’s not done. She asks why the detour signage is so random, leaving drivers to guess which ramps are open day to day.

Gallegos says, “With the use of dynamic and portable message boards, the NMDOT has tried to inform drivers of lane closures and detours. This is a $9 million project that is set to wrap up in July.”

The good news is the work on the weigh stations “is pretty much the last portion of the project before crews tie up any loose ends.”

WHAT’S THAT PASEO WORK? Barbara Ibarra asks via email about signs earlier this month on westbound Paseo del Norte from Tramway and eastbound on Paseo from I-25 announcing road work.

“Paseo del Norte doesn’t need any work that I can see, so what is in the works?”

Gallegos explains it’s “a pavement preservation project” that helps make the road last longer. In this instance, crews have been “crack sealing from San Pedro to Tramway.” Rain delayed the start from May 13. Westbound work was scheduled for nights last week to limit inconveniences for drivers; eastbound is nights this week.

HARD TO GET THERE FROM HERE IN RIO RANCHO: That’s the concern from Mary Hyatt, who emails, “We have been dealing with the ‘remodeling’ of Southern Boulevard in Rio Rancho for a while now. They have now closed Meadowlark from Sara to Loma Larga in Corrales, which makes travel to/from the south end of Corrales tough. And now they’ve closed a portion of Idalia from Loma Colorado to Broadmoor. On top of recent and/or current projects on Sundt and Abrazo.

“We’ve had to go way out of our way to go somewhere or get home lately. Why can’t they work on just one or two projects – and possibly finish them faster – and not inconvenience the residents so much at one time?”

Annemarie L. García, communications and community engagement officer for the city of Rio Rancho, says, “The city has a substantial amount of roadwork currently taking place, voter-approved and otherwise.”

And the reason many projects can be going on in the metro area at once, she says, “is based on a variety of factors, such as: funding being available; time of year, i.e. weather; and coordinating projects with other agencies. For example, for the voter-approved G.O. bond road projects, reconstruction and rehabilitation began as soon as funding became available. For the Industrial Park Loop Water Line Replacement Project, construction needs to be completed before NMDOT begins the upcoming N.M. 528 widening project.”

And it turns out “the section of Meadowlark that is closed is due to a Village of Corrales project. Idalia Road from Broadmoor Boulevard to Loma Colorado Boulevard was closed for 10 days to allow for the High Range subdivision to make roadway improvements – (again), this was not a city of Rio Rancho project.”

García reminds readers: “For more information about road closures and construction in Rio Rancho, please visit www.rrnm.gov/roadwork.”

Editorial page editor D’Val Westphal tackles commuter issues for the Metro area on Mondays. Reach her at 823-3858; dwestphal@abqjournal.com; or 7777 Jefferson NE, Albuquerque, N.M., 87109.

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