I-40 traffic delayed by construction
Traffic on I-40 east of Gallup at Jamestown is backing up due to construction and highway officials say the delays will last until later this summer.
Traffic heading east was backed up at least 16 miles and the line reached Church Rock on Wednesday.
Travelers and truckers planning to travel on I-40 near Exit 39 “are encouraged to have patience and plan their travel times to avoid delays if possible,” according to a news release from the New Mexico roads department.
The construction, 18.7 miles east of Gallup, is a bridge rehabilitation and ramp and roadway improvement.
Traffic on the freeway is reduced to one lane in each direction from mile marker 37.6 to mile marker 42.8. The Exit 39 bridge is also reduced to one lane. The on-ramp and off-ramp are open at Exit 39, but do have detours.
The $18.7 million project is expected to be complete later this summer.
The New Mexico roads department reports traffic begins backing up at approximately 2:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. daily and can last until 8 p.m.
Higher volumes of weekend traffic can cause backups to last longer from Friday to Sunday. In addition, if there is a crash, drivers can expect longer backups and delays.
State officials encourage travelers to pass through the area in the morning or early afternoon.
The contractor for the project, Fisher Sand & Gravel, has been working from 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Saturday, but began working seven days a week on June 20 to complete construction as soon as possible.
Highway construction is also taking place on I-40 about four miles east of the Arizona/New Mexico state line, in Cibola County at the bridge over Rio San Jose, and in Bernalillo County near the Big I.