The New Mexico Department of Transportation and local officials recently celebrated the completion of the I-25/Rio Bravo Interchange Project embracing the significant economic and quality of life benefits provided to the traveling public.
The $65 million, five-phase project took two years to complete. Delivery was on time, on budget and on track for reducing congestion, improving safety and incorporating a new multi-use path for bicyclists and pedestrians. The project created more than 250 jobs and officials hope the improvements will stimulate economic growth for the Mesa del Sol area.
The interchange, originally constructed in 1961, was no longer able to meet current traffic volumes nor provide capacity for growth. Rio Bravo Boulevard provides a key crossing of the Rio Grande for Albuquerque’s south side in addition to significant growth forecasts for the Southwest Mesa and Mesa del Sol areas.
NMDOT opted for the innovative offset single-point interchange design, the first of its kind for the state. It will ease congestion by moving large volumes of traffic more efficiently through enhanced entrance and exit ramps and newly signalized intersections. To address future growth in the area, the project increased traffic lanes on I-25 from four to six, adding six new bridges and improving storm drainage along the corridor.
“This project not only addresses current infrastructure needs but with continued growth it will provide a safe and efficient transportation system for decades to come,” said state Transportation Secretary Michael Sandoval. “Pedestrians and bicyclists can now safely connect between Mesa Del Sol and Albuquerque’s South Valley on their dedicated path.” The Federal Highway Administration funded approximately eighty percent of the total project cost, including $55 million for construction and $10 million for design, acquisition of right-of-ways and signalization.