I-40, I-25 lose ramps and lanes; 'bike boxes' explained - Albuquerque Journal

I-40, I-25 lose ramps and lanes; ‘bike boxes’ explained

WESTBOUND I-40 UNSER OFF-RAMP CLOSED: West Side drivers saw this closure last week, when the New Mexico Department of Transportation blocked the off-ramp to continue its $19.5 million Interstate 40 roadway reconstruction project between Coors and Unser.

Kimberly Gallegos of NMDOT’s Albuquerque office says the “ramp will be closed for approximately two months and the alternate routes are Coors or 98th Street.”

In addition, “crews have set wall barriers in place and the two inside lanes of traffic are open to motorists traveling both east and westbound. … Work will take place Monday thru Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.,” weather permitting.

For the latest project updates, check out nmroads.com, dot.nm.gov or call 511.

NORTHBOUND 1-25/MLK WORK CONTINUES: NMDOT and Star Paving are permanently removing the off-ramp from northbound I-25 to Martin Luther King, and Star Paving Project Manager Dick Rowles says at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 6, northbound traffic will be reduced to one lane and the on-ramps from Gibson, Avenida Cesar Chavez and Lead will be closed. Traffic will be detoured to the MLK on-ramp. “Traffic will be returned to two lanes by 5 a.m. Sept. 7 and will remain in two lanes for a 21-day period, with the Lead on-ramp remaining closed.”

Northbound traffic that needs to access MLK should exit at the Lead/Coal off-ramp and proceed north on Oak to MLK. MLK access for southbound I-25 traffic will not be affected.

Drivers are told to expect delays, especially during rush hours. More info is at nmroads.com and dot.nm.gov.

AND OAK (NOT LOCUST) GETS NEW PAVING: Ronald L. Vonderhaar emails that “both Locust and Oak between Lomas and Central, including the on-ramps and off-ramps, are in terrible condition. They are like driving over a washboard dirt mountain road. There are chunks of the top layer of paving missing. When will these be fixed?”

Rowles says as part of the I-25/MLK work, “Locust will not be getting new pavement, but Oak between Central and MLK will. The current schedule shows paving on Oak will complete in early December.”

NIGHT WORK ON TRAMWAY BRIDGES: NMDOT is also ” removing and replacing the overhead signs both north and southbound at all four (pedestrian) bridge locations on Tramway” this week, from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Tuesday through Friday.

Updates and information on the $3.5 million project are at nmroads.com and dot.nm.gov.

WELCOME TO THE GREEN BIKE BOX: G.A. “Jerry” Minor says in an email, “I cannot find out what the new green pavement markings on Bridge at Atrisco, Old Coors and Coors are trying to tell me. Yes, they have something to do with the bike lanes due to the bicycle markings in them, but the green box that covers the entirety of the right lane is a little puzzling. What, if anything, do these markings mean for an automobile driver?”

We turn to Antonio E. Jaramillo, director of Operations and Maintenance for Bernalillo County. He explains “this new striping is not new to the area; in fact it can been found on Martin Luther King, for instance. The green box is called a Bicycle Box. In short it allows for an area in front of vehicles for bicycles to stage (during the red signal) to move through an intersection. This is a mechanism to enhance safety for the bicyclists in the corridor. Vehicles should stop at the stop bar that is just before the bicycle box and not park within the green area.”

For photos of and details on how bike boxes work, go to nacto.org.

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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