No speedy plans to restore accidents on the Albuquerque Junction

ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – One of the busiest intersections in Albuquerque, known for its speeders and accidents. Anyone who drives through Coors and the Paseo del Norte knows that it can get pretty chaotic.

“I came across the merger and slipped. The truck went sideways and hit the curb. I just slipped. I think I was going too fast, ”a driver told an Albuquerque policeman in a January lapel video.

It’s a crash scene that has become common around this exchange. Two years of crash data from 2018 and 2019 show there were 333 crashes there, and luckily no deaths have been reported. During the busy lunch break at this interchange on Friday, there was backwater along Coors and speeders flew by.

“People drive through this red light all the time, so you really have to look both ways before deciding whether to turn or go straight,” said driver Sarah Gallegos. She adds that the sudden separation of the lane from the Paseo to the west on Coors can lead to people dodging. She says that by working nearby, she saw how dangerous this area can be. “A couple of flashovers that caused backups and stuff like that,” she said.

KRQE News 13 reported back in 2015 that the New Mexico Department of Transportation was considering an interchange overhaul. But on Friday said while the issues are on the radar there, there are no plans in the pipeline.

“At the moment we see that most accidents can be traced back to the behavior of the driver and not necessarily to the road surface,” said NMDOT spokeswoman Kimberly Gallegos. She said the interchange built in 1986 should have at least 15 years to live.

“We know the area has grown out there, but it still fulfills the needs of that area and we have found other people are going other ways to get to the paseo,” added Gallegos.

At the moment there are other priorities like a new junction on I-25 and Montgomery and then the replacement of the bridge at Gibson. Daytime traffic is getting worse for the time being. The city is running a landscape project in Coors north of Paseo and will close one lane to the south during the working day. The I-25 and Montgomery project is slated to begin in 2023, followed by the Gibson project.

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