NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – A new report shows New Mexico’s interstate bridges are among the most deteriorated in the country. The TRIP report found that 3% of New Mexico interstate bridges are rated as very structurally deficient, based on the general wear and tear.
That is the 18th highest in the country. However, the report also found the way New Mexico interstates are designed makes them one and a half times safer than other roads. In 2019, the fatality rate per 100 million driven miles of travel on New Mexico’s interstate was 1.19, as opposed to 1.65 on the non-interstate routes. According to a news release, they estimated that because of specific safety features like a minimum of four lanes, and paved shoulders and median barriers, about 33 lives were saved in 2019.
The organization also found that interstate traffic in New Mexico has increased 18% from 2000 to 2019. In New Mexico, 19% of interstate highways in city areas are considered congested during peak traffic hours.
TRIP, a national transportation research nonprofit is focused on updating the Interstate Highway System to make them safer, is recommending major updates to the system like adding additional highway capacity, foundational reconstructing on highways and bridges, and adding corridors. Visit tripnet.org to view the full report.