The Big “I” in Albuquerque, New Mexico was the largest capital works project awarded in New Mexico and involved the reconstruction and expansion of nearly 2 miles of the existing Interstate 25 and Interstate 40 interchange through central Albuquerque. Features of the reconfiguration included increased auxiliary merge distances; smoother, straighter roadways leading to improved performance; addition of interior and exterior shoulders; and fewer motorist weaves or lane changes due to the elimination of left-hand on/off ramps.
The Big-I reconstruction project involved various construction projects on the I-25 and I-40 interchange in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The Big-I was originally designed to service around 40,000 vehicles a day. However, approximately 300,000 vehicles a day used it before the reconstruction project.
The Big I project contains the first segmental structures in the state of New Mexico. The project is being built for the New Mexico State Highway Transportation Department and will add eight precast segmental ramps to the busy and vital I-25 and I-40 interchange in Albuquerque. The eight precast ramps are part of the 55 bridges included in the two-year schedule.
Fifty-five bridges were built as part of the project including 33 concrete girder bridges, four structural steel girder bridges, 10 rehabilitated bridges, and eight new precast segmental fly-over bridges, which have become the trademark of the project because of their magnificent arcs. At 80 feet tall and more than 2,800 feet long, the I-25 southbound to the I-40 eastbound bridge includes 206 individual segments and is the longest bridge in the state of New Mexico.
Major items of work included 4 miles of sound wall; 111 lane-miles of paving; 16 miles of bridge beams; 154 miles of the conduit; 29 miles of concrete barrier wall; 4 miles of drilled shafts; 7.5 million pounds of rebar; 5 million pounds of structural steel; and 70 miles of utility work.