AASHTO Journal, 19 June 2015
New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez signed capital outlay legislation June 17 that includes $45 million for major, critical highway infrastructure projects, saying they will create jobs in the short-term and lay a stronger foundation for long-term economic growth.
And counting local projects, the bill contains more than $70 million for highways and roads across the state. It was part of a broader, $294 million infrastructure construction bill largely paid for with bonds and cash reserves, the Albuquerque Journal reports.
“Far too many of our roads are dangerous, and they are in dire need of repair,” Martinez said. “By signing this legislation, we will not only make our roads and highways safer for our families, but we will also create jobs and help lay the groundwork to continue growing our economy.”
The extra capital funding will, among other things, go toward repairing, resurfacing and expanding New Mexico roads and highways, many of which are unsafe, failing and impeding economic growth, her announcement said.
“Our roads and highways serve as the literal foundation for commerce,” Martinez added. “When we invest in major highway projects, we are creating jobs and making it easier to develop and grow our economy.”
Governor Martinez made the announcement in Las Cruces and will later highlight the bill in Santa Teresa, a focal point of New Mexico’s growing leadership in international commerce and trade. The legislation includes more than $8 million for critical highway infrastructure improvements in and around Santa Teresa’s booming borderplex.
A press release from the governor’s office also said the additional infusion of state dollars that “will allow New Mexico to partner with local and federal agencies to complete large-scale projects with benefits that are regional or statewide in scope.”
The measure prioritizes spending for transportation infrastructure projects, and provides access to funds for local communities to make various types of infrastructure upgrades or improvements to support new and expanding businesses.
“When we invest in infrastructure, we create jobs — lots of them — in every corner of the state,” the governor said. “And we achieve critical, lasting objectives. That’s exactly what this capital outlay bill aims to do.”