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Thursday, April 4, 2013 - 8:42pm
LAS CRUCES, N.M. — Traffic in Las Cruces will soon begin flowing a lot faster as crews finish up construction on the Interstate 25 / Interstate 10 interchange project scheduled for completion by the end of April.
Most of the asphalt work has been finished and because of that the New Mexico Department of Transportation expects lanes and ramps to open over the weekend.
"A lot of the orange barrels are being moved out of the way," said NMDOT Spokesperson Bridget Spedalieri.
It's been nearly a year since crews first broke ground on the $53.8 million project.
Crews rebuilt bridges to make them stronger for heavier trucks and the improvements will also help alleviate congestion during rush hour by having the six lanes of I-10 merge more efficiently onto I-25.
"For people that commute, I think it's going to be a lot better," said Las Cruces resident Ashley Elias.
Elias said traffic was a headache when having to commute from El Paso to attend her morning classes at New Mexico State.
She said the work will ultimately benefit those using the roads.
"I think it's a good project," Elias said. "It just took a while to get completed."
Part of the work included improving safety by redesigning ramps that did not meet Federal Highway Administration standards.
"We have a ramp that we just totally redesigned," Spedalieri said. "It's made to allow the traffic to flow at a better and safer speed."
The ramp connects I-25 southbound to I-10 headed west.
That ramp had a tight turning radius that could potentially cause vehicles to overturn.
"Anywhere you're traveling you want to feel safe," Elias said.
As crews continue their work on striping and other details, Spedalieri said it's possible there could be lane closures leading up to the final completion date of April 23rd.
She urged motorists to drive patiently through the area and follow detours to keep both the workers and motorists safe.