WASHINGTON (KSMX)- U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich as well as U.S. Representatives Ben Ray Luján , Deb Haaland and Xochitl Torres Small announced that the United States Department of Transportation has awarded the New Mexico Department of Transportation a $12,500,000 grant.
The NMDOT will use the funds to repair and add safety enhancements along a section of US Highway 285 between Loving and the Texas border.
In addition to repairs from damage caused by increased heavy truck and equipment traffic, the project will provide turning and acceleration/deceleration lanes, shoulders, bridge structures, and stronger pavement on US 285 from the Texas-New Mexico state line to Loving within the Permian Basin region. US 285 is an important transportation artery in southeastern New Mexico that connects communities across the region that has seen intensified traffic associated with the oil and gas industry in the Permian Basin.
Recently, the heightened usage of US 285 by oil and gas transport vehicles has significantly worsened road conditions along this route. As a result, the affected highway section has experienced significant pavement failures, the appearance of sinkholes, and the degradation of associated bridge structures. That damage and limited safety features like turning lanes have contributed to an elevated level of traffic fatalities along this section of roadway.
“These funds to repair damage, add turn lanes, and enhance US Highway 285 in the Permian Basin are critical for public safety and important for the southeast New Mexico economy,” Udall said. “Given the rapidly growing use of this roadway by heavy trucks and equipment, these federal funds will help NMDOT make US 285 a safer, more reliable highway thoroughfare to the Texas border. This project represents strong state, local and federal collaboration and as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I will continue to fight for funding to improve New Mexico’s infrastructure to benefit safety and our economy.”