Gov. Lujan Grisham attends Infrastructure Bill signing

Politics - Government

NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – New Mexico is set to get nearly $4 billion from the president’s massive infrastructure bill. So when will the state know the breakdown of which projects will be funded and when? The governor was invited by President Joe Biden to attend Monday’s signing of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

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The bill gives a trillion-dollar boost to repair roadways and public transit while expanding access to broadband internet and clean drinking water. New Mexico is set to receive $3.7 billion in funding from the bill.

“They sent us here to make a difference in their lives and I believe we’re doing that. I believe that’s just what we’re doing. On Monday, I look forward to signing into law the Infrastructure Act,” said President Biden.

The governor previously met with the president back in October to advocate for the bill’s funding and the impact it would have on the state.

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham says her administration has appointed a so-called infrastructure lead or czar to help direct where that money goes. Of course, most of that is slated to address a long wishlist of road projects. “For $2.5 billion and we have $1.5 billion in capital infrastructure dollars at the state level- we can probably do nearly all of it all at once,” Lujan Grisham said.

She says that $2.5 billion should be able to cover about 3,800 miles of New Mexico’s roads but no specific projects have been listed just yet. The state’s Department of Transportation has a lengthy list of priorities including a new interchange at I-25 and Montogmery and another one at Gibson.

Lujan Grisham says the czar will be working with mayors, city managers, council members and commissioners to gauge their priorities. “Because, you know, without them, we don’t successfully execute these projects and they really help us with the kind of job identification and business recruitment and retention,” Lujan Grisham said.

The other big-ticket items to come out of that infrastructure package include hundreds of million of dollars for improving public transportation, broadband access and water infrastructure across the state. KRQE News 13 asked the governor’s office who has the final sign-off on the project list. It says the funding will be distributed to state agencies that will deploy the funding to the projects.

They say it does not have to go through the legislature because it’s a separate type of funding stream. The governor says when she makes the announcement about the czar later this week, they expect to have an outline with more details about their three biggest projects.

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