On my truck the duct was cut for me by the previous owner. With a little mechanical gymnastics I was able to get it out. I did take apart the lower part of the dash (in the right side footwell) which gave me the access I needed. I also had the right seat and a bunch of center console trim pieces when I was doing this. The seat removal was not necessary for this project, I had it out because I was replacing the BeCM.
It is totally possible to remove that blend motor with only removing the binnacle bracket and leaving the duct work right where it is. I found a thumbwheel ratchet that uses the 1/4" bits. I had to shorten a Phillips bit to the perfect length (long enough to engage the screw but not so long as to foul against the back of the ductwork. I'm a big guy, with big hands, but I can easily get in there and with a little finesse, I can usually have that blend motor in my hand in a few minutes. Granted, I have done it a few times now, but even the first time I think it was out in 10 mins or less. Just be wary of where you cut the cable, you need to leave room to add connectors (or solder it solid again).