CARLSBAD, N.M. (KRQE) – The oil boom has created a deadly situation on the roads in southeastern New Mexico. The city of Carlsbad may be getting some help to make it safer.
“It needs to be done, It’s dangerous,” said William Franco.
Franco is talking about the amount of traffic that travels through Carlsbad each day. Eddy County says they see triple the number of vehicles, connected to oil work, that travel through Carlsbad. More than 80,000 vehicles pass through their city every day. There is no direct access to highway 62/180 from US 285 unless you travel through Carlsbad.
“Well with the traffic the way it is right now, people just don’t like to go downtown and shop and being able to get the through traffic outside of the downtown area, is going to be a huge benefit to the city,” said Community Services Director for Eddy County Wesley Hooper.
The increase of traffic from the oilfield concerns residents. They don’t feel safe with all the added vehicles. Carlsbad wants to build a new bypass on the east side of town, that would allow trucks driving from Loving to Hobbs to avoid Main Street.
“I’d feel safe going to work,” said Franco
The county tells us they have been working on the project for almost seven years. Now they’re hoping state legislators can give them $2.5 million to approve the plans and buy the land for the project.
“The total cost of this project is $39.7 million and after last year’s legislative session, we have $14.7 that’s already budgeted and committed,” said Hooper.
Oil companies have also given to the project to help build the bypass.