LOS LUNAS, N.M. (KRQE) – The long-awaited I-25 Interchange and bridge project in Los Lunas is going to need more money if it wants to see the light of day as its price day is soaring. The project has been in the works for more than two decades now.
“This project is important for the future and safety of our village and the entire county of Valencia,” Mayor Charles Griego said of the project. With a population that’s outgrown its roads, the village quickly saw a need to ease congestion by adding an alternate route for drivers.
The second interchange near the prison would connect I-25 to New Mexico 47 on the other side of the river with a new three-mile road and a new bridge. But the village-led project is taking much longer than originally planned to keep up with the project’s rising costs.
The village has come up with more than $102 million through federal, state, and local funding. But the total project cost has gone up from about $115 million to about $177 million. Now the village is asking state lawmakers for another $75 million to fill the gap.
Before this year’s legislative session began, Department of Transportation officials warned lawmakers the department would be needing extra money for already-funded road projects due to inflation. According to NMDOT, if lawmakers don’t approve the extra money, the village will need to go back to the drawing board to reduce the cost of the project.
The Los Lunas I-25 interchange project was originally supposed to begin in 2021. KRQE reached out to the village to find out exactly what caused the project’s cost to skyrocket this much. KRQE has not heard back.