ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – New Mexico would need about $5 billion to fix roads in critical need of improvement according to the latest study by A National Transportation Research Nonprofit (TRIP). Every year the nonprofit looks at road and bridge conditions, congestion, and traffic fatalities and calculates the cost to drivers.
The report, “New Mexico Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe, Smooth and Efficient Mobility“, states Albuquerque drivers are spending an extra $2,604 a year because of bad roads, sit an extra 45 hours in traffic a year, and waste 21 extra gallons of gas because of congestion. The survey shows 39% of roadways in Albuquerque are in poor condition and 21% are in mediocre condition.
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The state however is getting a lot more help from the federal government through the infrastructure investment and Jobs Act bill. “It resulted in a significant boost in funding in New Mexico. This year, the first year of the bill, the state will receive a 35% increase in federal funding for roads, highways, and bridges. So a significant addition to the funding, ” said Director of TRIP Policy and Research Rocky Moretti.
The group highlighted the state’s priorities — including more than a billion dollars just to repave the interstates in New Mexico. Another focus — the well-used highways in oil country in southeast New Mexico. Representative Rebecca Dow says, “From agriculture, mining, oil & gas industries, we have to have a good investment in our populated areas and our rural communities in order for our economy to grow.”
Some of the road needs mentioned are already in the works like a makeover on a busy stretch of Cerrillos between St. Michaels and St. Francis. The DOT says construction could start on that in summer of 2023.