$17M more needed to finish brine well work in Carlsbad

New Mexico

CARLSBAD, N.M. (KRQE) – More money is needed to prevent a sinkhole from opening on a busy highway in southern New Mexico. Last year, legislators appropriated $54 million to reconstruct and fill the Carlsbad Brine Well to prevent a collapse. A committee is now asking for $17 million more to finish the project; drinking water is also at risk.

“If the cavern continues to fail, which it will and we get cracks that rise up and pushing brine along with it it will get to the freshwater aquifer out there which is being used and contaminate it with salt,” said Jim Griswold, OCD Environmental Bureau Chief.

Experts have estimated if a collapse were to happen, it would cause more than a billion dollars in damages, swallowing up an intersection and businesses.

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