February 5, 2016
State transportation officials took issue Thursday with a report released by a Washington, D.C.-based group that found that a quarter of New Mexico’s roads are in poor condition, and 16 percent of bridges are deficient or obsolete.
The report issued by TRIP, a nonprofit research group, contends that the New Mexico Department of Transportation’s 2016 budget will provide only 46 percent of the annual funding needed to maintain state roads and bridges.
“Without additional funding at the local, state and federal levels, New Mexico’s roads and bridges will continue to deteriorate, and the costs passed along to drivers will increase even further,” Carolyn Kelly, TRIP’s associate director, said at a news conference.
The report contends that 25 percent of locally and state-maintained roads are in poor condition and an additional 32 percent are in “mediocre or fair” condition. For bridges, 16 percent show significant deterioration or do not meet modern design standards, it said.
Poor roads and bridges contribute to traffic congestion, safety problems and higher costs for drivers, it contends.
Transportation Secretary Tom Church said the report reached inaccurate conclusions because it included municipal and county roads, which are in worse condition than those maintained by the state. Read on…