LOS LUNAS, NM (KRQE) – It’s a road project people in Valencia County have been wanting for years, and now the village of Los Lunas is hoping the state will help foot a big chunk of the cost of a new interchange on I-25.
The village mayor and the New Mexico Department of Transportation on Wednesday presented the project to a legislative subcommittee in hopes of getting that funding this year.
“We realize it is a regional need, not just a local need,” Mayor Charles Griego stated.
An engineer with the NMDOT said $55 million would cover a new interchange on I-25 about a mile south of Highway 6, and the construction of a two-lane road that connects I-25 to Highway 47. There would also be a four-lane bridge over the river.
The subcommittee chair, Sen. John Arthur Smith, raised concern that the estimated price tag, which is a cost estimate from two years ago, will go up drastically because of a boosted cost in materials.
“What happens in two to three years, if we have such a scenario like we’ve had in the past, you could be asking for $75 million and you don’t have enough money to do the project,” Smith explained.
NMDOT said total cost adjustments for inflation will be made moving into the preliminary design phase.
The mayor added that the village has already pledged $2.5 million for the project and Valencia County pledged another $2 million. If the funding is approved, the project would take about five years, including the design phase and two years of construction.