On I-40 approaching the Big I
|Albuquerque, New Mexico|
|Constructed||June 2000 – May 2002 (reconstruction)|
May 2002 (reconstruction)
The Big I is a complex stack interchange located in central Albuquerque, New Mexico. The interchange, reconstructed between 2000 and 2002, is the busiest in the state, handling an average of 300,000 vehicles per day as of 2000. The interchange accommodates traffic movements between I-25, I-40, and their associated frontage roads.
The Big I was originally built in the early 1960s with left exits designed to handle 60,000 vehicles per day. By the late 1990s, however, it could no longer handle Albuquerque's increasing traffic flows and needed to be replaced. Construction work on a new interchange began in June 2000 and lasted until May 2002.
The reconstruction, which was budgeted to cost $221.8 million (equivalent to $315 million in 2018), was completed at a total cost $293 million, (equivalent to $399 million in 2018), and took 23 months to complete. The reconstruction was the largest public works project ever undertaken in New Mexico, and was the winner of the 2002 President's Transportation Award for Highways from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. A survey done in 2002 showed that after the completion of the project, the hours of annual delay dropped from 16 million to just 1.1 million.
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