ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – New Mexico is investing millions in new road projects — but where can you expect to see some of these improvements? Between House Bill 2 and bonds, more than $600 million is going toward 58 road projects across the state, including the interchange at I-25 and Montgomery, replacing the bridge, and adding auxiliary lanes.
“When you’re talking about a shovel in the ground and actual construction starting, it’ll be within two years,” said Transportation Sec. Michael R. Sandoval with the New Mexico Department of Transportation. “It’ll just depend on how the design goes. There’s a couple different options they’re looking at.”
NMDOT says they figured it would be more efficient to do both the Montgomery and Comanche projects at the same time, and they hope to begin construction in 2023. About $34 million in recent bond funds will go toward this project, but they’re estimating, in all, it’ll cost about $100 million. After this interchange, Sec. Sandoval says interchanges at Gibson and Mesa del Sol will be next.
Other big projects planned for the metro including resurfacing I-40 near the Route 66 Casino and Sedillo Hills. They’re also investing $65 million into the Los Lunas corridor.
“We are going to be building a new interchange there, just south of the Facebook warehouse,” said Sandoval. “That area has grown and it does need a new interchange so that’s about a $100 million project.”
NMDOT also has projects planned in other parts of the state, including reconstruction on I-25 at La Bajada, adding in reinforcement to the roadside slopes that are starting to deteriorate. With the bond funding, they will begin construction about a year earlier than planned in March 2022 and should be done by early 2025. They will also widen some roads in Santa Fe at St. Michael’s Drive and Indian School, adding utilities and drainage.
Despite the millions of dollars in bonds and the general fund going toward these projects, NMDOT says they’re still underfunded by about $3 billion. NMDOT is also hoping to recruit more employees to staff these upcoming road projects. They have about 390 openings within the department and the projects will create work for another 3,000 New Mexicans.
Here’s a full list of the department’s top 18 high-priority road projects, separated by district, along with the current bond and HB2 funds going toward them:
District 1 projects:
- I-10 mile post 25-35 (pavement preservation) $16 million
- I-10 mile post 15-20 (pavement preservation) $10.6 million
- I-25 mile post 14-24 (pavement preservation) $12 million
District 2 projects:
- US 60 downtown Clovis phase (roadway construction, drainage, ADA improvements) $21 million
- US 54 mile post 151-158.9 Corona area (roadway widening, drainage improvements, install passing lanes) $18 million
- US 54 mile post 157.9-164 (roadway widening, drainage improvements, install passing lanes phase 3) $16 million
District 3 projects:
- I-25 to NM 47 (Los Lunas Corridor) $65.2 million
- I-25/Montgomery interchange (reconstruction with bridge replacement and auxiliary lanes) $34 million
- I-40 mile post 138-141 (west of ABQ by Route 66 casino) and 182-184 (Sedillo Hills) (resurfacing) $8.2 million
District 4 projects:
- I-25/US 64/87 interchange, exit 451 in Raton (interchange reconstruction for commercial traffic slow-down) $21 million
- US 64 mile post 272-275 near Angel Fire (roadway reconstruction, widening, safety improvements, guard rail, shoulders and retaining walls) $15 million
- I-40 mile post 322-327 (pavement preservation) $7 million
District 5 projects:
- I-25 La Bajada (roadway reconstruction) $26.6 million
- St. Michael’s Drive-Indian School phase 1 (roadway reconstruction and widening in Santa Fe, utilities and drainage) $16.5 million (will then turn over to city of Santa Fe)
- I-40 mile post 232-239 (pavement preservation) $11 million
District 6 projects:
- I-40 mile post 36-47 (additional east and west bound lane project) $34 million
- Allison Road corridor phase 1 (NM 118 and BNSF overpass reconstruction) $9 million
- NM 264 mile post 0-16 (mill and fill project) $20 million