ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) - New Mexico's bridges, roads, dams and levees are falling apart, and the fix is way out of the state's price range, a new study shows.
Plus there potentially is a lot more than money at stake because the problems could lead to disaster.
Orange barrels are a very familiar sight in the state, but the new study done by an engineers' group shows there should be more of them around the state--a lot more.
From last year's bridge collapse west of Albuquerque near the Route 66 Casino to flash floods bringing the Rail Runner Express trains to a halt north of Bernalillo, New Mexico's infrastructure and flood control systems need work.
"There's things that need to be done," said Gerald Parker, a spokesman for the New Mexico chapter of the American Society of Engineers. "We all know that we have roads that aren't quite what we'd like them to be. We have a lot of congestion.
"We have storm-drainage issues that aren't quite what we'd like them to be, and we have some flooding issues occasionally."
Those issues earned New Mexico a "C" in a recent study grading infrastructure across the nation.
The grade comes from the American Society of Civil Engineers, which found the state needs billions of dollars in work.
When engineers looked at the state's flood-control systems they found 77 percent of them are deficient, and about 16 percent of the state's dams are a hazard. One of those is the 101-year-old Peterson Dam leaking in above Las Vegas.
Engineers also say it will take $178 million dollars alone to bring the state's bridges up to an "A," and roads are another trouble spot. They get a failing grade because a third of the state's fatal accidents are caused by roadway deficiencies.
To bring the state's low grade up a few notches, the group says it will take a lot of money.
It's something Gov. Susana Martinez said she has been fighting for, but with state and federal money being harder to come by these days, funding is a major roadblock.
The New Mexico Department of Transportation said it has $16 billion dollars in projects it would like to get done over the next 20 years. The NMDOT will only get a fraction of that.
An Albuquerque Police officer involved shooting over the weekend marks the fifth since late October and city officials are taking notice.
A woman was stolen from her daughter's car, a woman who died more than five years ago.
Albuquerque police shot and killed a man Sunday night after responding to an assault call near UNM.
Deputies were led on a chase around 4 p.m. Monday after a person called 911 to report their vehicle had been stolen and was being driven recklessly around Albuquerque.
New Mexico could have hundreds of millions of dollars more to spend as legislators get ready to put together next year's budget in the upcoming legislative session.
Organizers of the Gildan New Mexico Bowl are hoping to shed the disappointing attendance numbers that weighed down the event last year when the Colorado State Rams and the Washington State Cougars face off Dec. 21.