Interstate 25 in New Mexico
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Interstate 25 or I -25 is an Interstate Highway in the U.S. state of New Mexico. The highway runs from Las Cruces in the south from Interstate 10 through Albuquerque and the state capital Santa Fe to Raton on the Colorado border. The highway is one of the longer within a state of the United States and is 744 kilometers long.
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I-25 in Albuquerque.
I-25 north of Albuquerque.
I-25 at Santa Fe.
Southern New Mexico
On the south side of Las Cruces, I-25 begins at the interchange with Interstate 10, the highway from Tucson to El Paso. Las Cruces is the largest city in southern New Mexico with a population of 86,000. One then starts with 2×2 lanes on the long road to the north. On the east side of the city one crosses the US 70, which runs to Alamogordo and Roswell. The highway follows the valley of the Rio Grande River. On the way you pass through the barren deserts. You pass through sparsely populated area, with mostly small villages on the route. With 7,200 inhabitants, Truth Or Consequences is the largest town on the 350 kilometers between Las Cruces and Albuquerque. The highway is monotonous and straight. To the west are the ridges of the Rocky Mountains, to the east the deserts. In winter, however, snow can fall here. Near the town of Socorro, one crosses US 380, which runs to Roswell, and US 60, which runs to Eagar in Arizona. A little further on, US 60 turns east again, toward Clovis in eastern New Mexico.
At Isleta Pueblo, the highway crosses the Rio Grande, arriving at Albuquerque, the largest city in the state with 555,000 residents, an agglomeration of more than 800,000 residents. Yet Albuquerque only has two highways, one of which is I-25. The highway has 2×3 lanes along the center. On the north side of downtown, one crosses Interstate 40, the highway from Flagstaff to Amarillo. One then passes through a fast-growing suburban area on the north side of Albuquerque. At the north end of town, US 550 exits and leads to Bloomfield. The US 550 is well developed with 2×2 lanes.
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Northern New Mexico
Interstate 25 turns east here, past Santa Fe, the capital of New Mexico. Santa Fe has a population of 72,000. Here one crosses US 285, which runs from Roswell to Colorado. After Santa Fe one has to go along and through a number of mountain ridges, and here the I-25 even runs back south. You are already at an altitude of 2200 meters. Just before the town of Las Vegas, the I-25 turns north again. Here one crosses the US 84, which leads to Santa Rosa on the I-40. One then arrives at the plateau which lies at an altitude of about 2000 meters. The town of Springer crosses US 56, which runs east to Clayton. These parts of New Mexico are very sparsely populated. One passes by Raton, the last town before the Colorado border. Via the 2,388 meter high Raton Pass one crosses the border with Colorado. Here, Interstate 25 in Colorado continues to Pueblo, Colorado Springs, and Denver.
Few details are known of the history of I-25 in New Mexico. The entire I-25 is constructed parallel or over US 85. The construction of the highway was carried out in the 1960s and 1970s. In the first half of the 1960s, fairly long routes were already in use. In 1966, the interchange between I-25 and I-40 in Albuquerque opened to traffic, being the main interchange in New Mexico. In 1967, I-25 ran from Las Cruces to Truth or Consequences, from Socorro to south of Albuquerque, from Albuquerque to Santa Fe, between Glorieta and Las Vegas, and around Raton in far northern New Mexico.
Apart from longer missing sections, there were two short missing links in 1967, namely a section between Los Lunas and Albuquerque and between Santa Fe and Glorieta. At the time, I-25 was signposted between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, although much of it was a 2×2 divided highway, not a real freeway. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, a fairly large portion of the route between Las Vegas and Raton was opened.
In 1973 there were still a few missing links, for example, the I-25 / US 85 between Truth and Consequences and Socorro was not yet completely grade separated, there was still a piece missing in southern Albuquerque, not all connections between Albuquerque and Santa Fe were yet finished, missing the bypasses of Santa Fe, Las Vegas, and Springer.
Only a short stretch of I-25 originally had 2×3 lanes, only the section along downtown Albuquerque had 2×3 lanes, the rest of the highway was equipped with 2×2 lanes. In the first half of the 1990s, I-25 was widened to 2×3 lanes through northern Albuquerque, between I-40 and NM-423 (Paseo del Norte). Between 2000 and 2002, the interchange between I-25 and I-40 in Albuquerque was reconstructed, also known as the “Big I” and is New Mexico’s most important and busiest interchange. The traffic jams decreased by more than 90 percent after completion. In 2009, I-25 was widened a short distance to 2×3 lanes from downtown to the south to NM-500 (Rio Bravo Boulevard). In 2011, I-25 was widened to 2×3 lanes from Albuquerque north to Bernalillo.
Between April 2012 and April 2013, the interchange with I-10 in Las Cruces was converted and expanded. A new flyover for traffic from west to north has been realised. In October 2016, a diverging diamond interchange opened at the junction with NM-14 (Exit 278) in Santa Fe, New Mexico’s first DDI.
Every day 17,000 vehicles travel at the southern starting point with I-10 in Las Cruces, increasing to a maximum of 40,000 vehicles per day past Las Cruces to the interchange with US 70. This drops to 32,000 vehicles on the north side of Las Cruces and 17,000 vehicles through the desert north of Las Cruces. At Truth or Consequences, 14,000 vehicles a day and 18,000 vehicles travel daily between San Antonio and Socorro. This rises to 20,000 to 25,000 vehicles between Socorro and Las Lunas on the south side of Albuquerque.
In Albuquerque the intensities are a lot higher. The bridge over the Rio Grande south of Albuquerque has 33,000 vehicles per day, rising to 75,000 vehicles at the airport and 170,000 vehicles downtown. North of the interchange with I-40, 193,000 vehicles a day drive, the busiest point on I-25. This drops to 135,000 vehicles to Paseo del Norte and 65,000 vehicles to Bernalillo.
Further north, 25,000 vehicles continue to Santa Fe, increasing to 30,000 vehicles on the Santa Fe Bypass and 42,000 vehicles between Santa Fe and US 285. This then drops to 14,000 to 18,000 vehicles as far as Las Vegas, 12,000 vehicles between Las Vegas and Wagon Mound, 12,000 vehicles to Springer and 10,000 vehicles to Raton. This then increases slightly to 12,000 vehicles on the Colorado state border.
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|Exit 222||Exit 225||2×3||Albuquerque|
|Exit 225||Exit 227||2×5||Albuquerque|
|Exit 227||Exit 230||2×4||Albuquerque|
|Exit 230||Exit 234||2×3||Albuquerque|
|Exit 234||Exit 460||2×2|