Balloon Fiesta getting its own ramp onto I-25 - Albuquerque Journal

Balloon Fiesta getting its own ramp onto I-25

BALLOON FIESTA GETTING I-25 RAMP: Starting today, traffic on the southbound Interstate 25 frontage road will not be able to merge onto the interstate just past the Tramway/Roy interchange.

Instead, drivers will continue down the frontage road and access the interstate just south of Alameda Boulevard.

Mountain States Constructors Inc. is relocating the Tramway/Roy on-ramp about 1,100 feet south to Pasadena Avenue “to improve safety and provide better access to southbound I-25 for traffic exiting Balloon Fiesta Park,” according to a news release from the city of Albuquerque. Completion is scheduled before the 2022 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta kicks off Oct. 1. The project is being paid for with nearly $2.5 million in state capital outlay funds.

Regular work hours will be 6:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

• Phase I, scheduled through August, will have the southbound frontage road reduced to one lane, the existing I-25 on-ramp at Tramway/Roy closed and motorists sent to the ramp south of Alameda Boulevard to access southbound I-25. Balloon Fiesta Parkway, Pasadena Avenue, Venice Avenue and Beverly Hills Avenue in the construction zone will be open at the frontage road.

• Phase II, scheduled early to mid-September, will close Pasadena Avenue at the southbound I-25 frontage road for about two weeks.

• Phase III, the final phase, will include roadway surfacing and final construction cleanup and last about a week.

In addition to the new ramp, drivers will get new paving on the southbound frontage road, new concrete wall barrier, drainage improvements and permanent signing and striping.

Drivers are asked to use caution in the construction zone, expect delays and allow extra time to reach their destinations.

UNSER OUT OF SYNCH: Lisa Arnhart shares that the signals on northbound Unser from Central to Monta ñ o are no longer properly synchronized in the evening, around 6 to 8 p.m.

“Going the speed limit, every major crossing light turns red on Unser right before I reach it except for the St. Josephs Drive intersection, which is consistently and mercifully green,” Lisa says. “Could these lights be timed better for this major thoroughfare?”

Nearby road work is making it a challenge.

Cilke says the “NMDOT construction of the 98th Street ramps (at Interstate 40) have affected traffic on Unser. The city adjusted the timing of signals at Unser and Central and Unser and Ladera to manage the unusual volumes of traffic.”

NO UNIVERSE WIDENING YET: Bob Vasquez emails that on the morning of July 18, “they closed off Universe Boulevard from Paseo del Norte to Rainbow without any warning or notification as to how long it will be closed. They’re obviously widening the road to four lanes. Any idea as to how long it’s going to take?”

It’s not widening, and not long.

Scott Cilke, with the city’s Department of Municipal Development, said Thursday that “Universe is not being expanded to four lanes at this time. Some work is being done by a private developer who received a permit from the city. It should be wrapped up in the coming days.”

CALL 311 FOR STREET TLC: Michael emails that he’s reached out to the mayor, City Council and Municipal Development and has not gotten an answer as to why Griegos between Fourth and Rio Grande is “on permanent ignore.”

He says “the city continues to improve streets that are already improved, and Griegos get left out. … Drive down it and take notice of the sidewalks and street. No one can truly walk or push a baby stroller or use a wheelchair on any sidewalk (because of) the poles, trees, cactus and bushes.”

Cilke says that while the city does not have any rehabilitation work “scheduled for the area at this time, if there’s an area any of your readers would like to see rehabbed, we encourage them to provide that feedback via 311.”

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, NM, 87109.

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