Replacing the post-1937 routing of U.S. 66, Interstate 40 (Coronado Freeway) crosses the city of Albuquerque from west Bernalillo County and the Laguna Indian Reservation to Cibola National Forest and Tijeras. Like Interstate 25, the freeway varies from four lanes in rural areas to ten lanes near Downtown. Much of the freeway through Albuquerque opened in 1962.
Several GRIP projects upgraded Interstate 40 across Bernalillo County. Most notably, the “Big I” project at the exchange joining Interstates 40 and 25, was completed in 2002 after just 24 months of construction. That project rebuilt a low-speed directional interchange between the two freeways into a multi-level interchange with high speed flyovers. Work on the ramps coincided with frontage road construction and other area improvements.
Other interchanges along the Coronado Freeway that were upgraded include the exchange at Coors Boulevard. Originally a directional-cloverleaf interchange with left-hand ramps, work at Exit 155 included the addition of flyover ramps and adjacent improvements ranging from new pedestrian bridges and a new Coors Boulevard overpass. This work was completed in 2006.
Further west in rural Bernalillo County, a completed GRIP project redesigned the Rio Puerco interchange on and off-ramps in conjunction with a new roundabout at the Route 66 Casino. Work was completed between August and November 2007.
East of Interstate 25, the San Mateo Boulevard interchange (Exit 161) received a $25-million GRIP redesign. Changes removed the loop ramp (Exit 161B) to San Mateo Boulevard north and redesigned the remaining ramps to accommodate eight to ten lanes of Interstate 40 below. Work began in fall 2008.
Additional projects included the redesign of the West Central Avenue (Historic U.S. 66) split and Atrisco Vista Boulevard Interchange (Exit 149) west of Albuquerque. Anticipated development along Paseo del Volcan and projected traffic increases justified the construction. Work removed the wye interchange with Central Avenue and redirected all movements to the adjacent diamond interchange with Atrisco Vista Boulevard (NM 500). Prior to July 2011, guide signs on I-40 referenced Exit 149 as Paseo del Volcan. The assemblies were changed once plans for the future Paseo del Volcan alignment shifted westward to no longer tie into I-40 at Exit 149.2