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New Mexico praised for $87M in road construction funding

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — A coalition of energy companies has thanked government leaders after receiving millions of dollars of road improvements in the southeast New Mexico.

Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed the $7.4 billion state budget for next year, which includes $300 million for roadway infrastructure and improvements, the Carlsbad Current-Argus reported.

Lawmakers agreed to allocate $87 million for road projects across southeast New Mexico from that funding, said Tracee Bentley, CEO of the Permian Strategic Partnership.

“The approved budget and legislation will have an enormous impact on road safety advancements in southeastern New Mexico,” Bentley said. “The projects supported through this funding will allow for direct action to improve priority roads projects in local communities, as well as help expedite work already underway on state roadways.”

Permian Strategic Partnership said in a statement that the recently approved funding is in addition to critical transportation funding already given to local projects in recent years, including work on State Road 128 and U.S. Route 285.

Bentley said the state will now have opportunities to secure federal funding for road projects through proposed infrastructure investments moving through Congress.

“We appreciate legislators like Sen. Gay Kernan and State Rep. Cathrynn Brown (R-55), who understand the region and our local communities, representing the Permian in the Legislature,” she said, adding that Department of Transportation Secretary Michael Sandoval demonstrated a commitment to supporting roads in the Permian Basin.

“This additional funding for Permian Basin Roads will help improve safety, enhance the current highways in the area, and alleviate congestion,” Bentley said.

Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway said the city shared the partnership’s enthusiasm to gather funding for road improvements across southeast New Mexico, especially those related to “the construction of a loop road around Carlsbad.”

He added: “The oil and gas activity in Eddy and Lea County is vital to the entire state, but the need to address road repair is continual. We look forward to working with PSP to address this ongoing vital safety issue.”