Study of I-40 Shows Major Issues Between Arizona and Albuquerque

Nov. 14, 2023
The corridor was identified as having "multiple deficiencies and immediate needs."

A new study suggests that Interstate 40 between Arizona and Albuquerque has many problems such as a high crash rate, crumbling roads, and short on-ramps, and state officials are offering their recommendations on what to do.

“We are seeing a deterioration in this corridor,” said Stephanie Miller, deputy project manager with Parametrix, who performed the study for the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT).

“There’s multiple deficiencies and immediate needs. Pavement is deteriorating rapidly. The pavement report that we got in 2022 showed about 18 miles of pavement that needed reconstruction or rehabilitation. We just got a new report from DOT a couple months ago for 2023 and that more than doubled. It went to 38 miles,” Miller says.

The report also suggests 118 curve deficiencies, bridges in disrepair, and approximately 70 ramps and merge areas that are too short.

“We get about 18 fatal crashes a year on this corridor and about 17 serious injury crashes,” Miller said. According to the report, between 2019 and 2021, the route has seen an average of around 639 crashes a year.

Consultants suggested maintaining two lanes of traffic both ways, widening the shoulders to help for emergencies, and only adding a third lane where needed.

According to the report, building a third lane along the 150-mile stretch of I-40 west of Albuquerque could be costly. Early estimates show it could be as much as $4.8 billion.