Report: Declining road conditions costs New Mexicans billions


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Deteriorating road conditions are costing New Mexico drivers big time.

Read: TRIP Report »

The National Research group outlines the state’s top transportation needs each year.

There are 34 projects on the list this year with a growing price tag of more than $1.5 billion.

“The New Mexico DOT estimates that they only have about half of what they would need to make needed improvements to the states roads and bridges,” Carolyn Bonifas Kelly said.

Some of the bigger projects include widening the area along I-25 between Comanche and Jefferson in Albuquerque. The report also lists reworking Coors, to help ease congestion, from I-25 all the way to Central Avenue. Then there’s the I-25, Montgomery interchange. It’s a reconstruction project with an estimated cost of $50 million.

But with a shortfall of funds, some legislators like State Rep. Bobby Gonzales think a gas tax solution may be the way to go.

“For many years we have been too dependent on federal government dollars and that is just not there like we would like it to be,” he said.

Albuquerque City Councilor Isaac Benton has also mentioned the idea of a gas tax to help pay for local road projects.

The report also breaks down the big problems in New Mexico on some of the roads you might drive every day.

“Our report finds that New Mexico drivers are losing $2.3 billion each year because they’re driving on roads that are deteriorated, congested and not as safe as they could be,” Bonifas Kelly said.

The cost is a result of repairs, lost time and fuel due to congestion-related delays.

The report states NMDOT only has about $200 million available for all of the projects, leaving a shortfall of more than $1.3 billion.

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