An open road for the Balloon Fiesta

The massive flyover from northbound I-25 to westbound Paseo del Norte now under construction will allow motorists to transition without any traffic lights, photographed on Sept. 1. (Dean Hanson/Albuquerque Journal)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — There’s good news for those having to navigate the Paseo del Norte/Interstate 25 area during this year’s Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

The $93 million project is 80 percent complete and workers will minimize lane closures throughout the nine-day event, which starts Oct. 4, said Phil Gallegos, spokesman for the state Department of Transportation.

“We won’t be dropping lanes that will impact Balloon Fiesta during peak hours,” including mornings, evenings and special events, Gallegos said Wednesday.

By Oct. 3, workers will finish a free-flow ramp that will allow drivers on eastbound Paseo del Norte to exit to southbound I-25, he said.

“We don’t feel we’re going to have much of an impact at all” on Balloon Fiesta, he said.

“Most of the access to the Balloon Fiesta Park is from Alameda and Tramway,” he said. “The fact that we are 80 percent complete and have so much open, getting to Alameda and Tramway will probably be better than last year.”

A key element of the project that will remain unfinished is a free-flow ramp designed to whisk northbound I-25 drivers to westbound Paseo del Norte. The ramp should be completed in late October.

Final completion of the reconstruction project is expected by December.

The agency said traffic will flow through key portions of the intersection by Oct. 3. They include:

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