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Big I is the name of the freeway interchange where Interstate 25 and Interstate 40 intersect northeast of downtown Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Big I
I-40 approaching the Big I.jpg
On I-40 approaching the Big I
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Coordinates35°06′17″N 106°37′48″W / 35.1048°N 106.6300°W / 35.1048; -106.6300Coordinates: 35°06′17″N 106°37′48″W / 35.1048°N 106.6300°W / 35.1048; -106.6300
Roads at
TypeStack interchange
ConstructedJune 2000 – May 2002 (reconstruction)
Opened1966 (1966) (original)
May 2002 (reconstruction)
Maintained byNMDOT



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.[1] The interchange accommodates traffic movements between I-25, I-40, and their associated frontage roads.

Every December since 1995, the Albuquerque Metropolitan Arroyo Flood Control Authority installs a snowman made of tumbleweed in the right-of-way next to the interchange.[2]


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.[citation needed]

The reconstruction, which was budgeted to cost $221.8 million (equivalent to $323 million in 2019[3]),[1] was completed at a total cost $293 million, (equivalent to $408 million in 2019[3]), 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.[4] 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.[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Major construction contract goes to Twin Mountain". Amarillo Globe-News. Morris Communications. Associated Press. February 8, 2000. Retrieved December 1, 2010.
  2. ^ Fleck, John (November 30, 2010). "Tumbleweed Snowman Makes His Appearance". Albuquerque Journal. Retrieved December 1, 2010.
  3. ^ a b Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  4. ^ "Big I team wins transportation award". New Mexico Business Weekly. September 26, 2002. Retrieved December 1, 2010.
  5. ^ "Bottlenecks choking U.S. roadways". CNN. February 19, 2004. Retrieved December 1, 2010.

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