EUNICE — The New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) District Two will begin an $18 million reconstruction project on NM-176 west of Eunice next month.
The 16-mile construction project will address road conditions, specifically making the two-lane road wider with acceleration and deceleration lanes.
State Rep. David Gallegos, who resides in Eunice, said he and all the other legislators from Lea County have pushed for these road improvements for years.
“I am grateful Gov. (Michelle) Lujan Grisham has allowed it to be started and the money is not removed. All the area legislators have had this on the front burner because of the importance to oil and gas,” Gallegos said. “As a group, we have kept it going. I want to include (former) Gov. (Susana) Martinez because she actually came down and looked at the southeast roads. I think it’s good for us. I think it’s timely. I think we need it. I’m so grateful they’re going to get started.”
Eunice City Manager Jordan Yutzy added, “I’m happy the roadwork is being done. The road really needs the work. I’m hoping the Department of Transportation works with the city on detours to make sure we’re not driving all this truck traffic through downtown Eunice as a detour route.”
In a news release, NMDOT officials also addressed the importance of improving state roads in southern Lea County.
“This is yet another important construction project in the region to expand the highways to accommodate the expansive oil and gas industry in the Permian basin,” said Department of Transportation Secretary Michael Sandoval. “We’re committed to delivering essential roadway improvements in southeast New Mexico.”
District Two Engineer Tim Parker added, “Safety of the traveling public is our number one priority. We’re proud to invest in the community that gives so much back to our state.”
The project between mile marker 10 and mile marker 26 will take approximately a year and half to complete, weather permitting, according to the NMDOT. During the project, motorists can expect lane restriction and temporary lane closures. Speed will be reduced to 45 mph during the work. Motorists are encouraged to use caution while driving through the work zone and obey all traffic signs.
“My administration will continue to build out essential infrastructure improvements in southeast New Mexico,” said Lujan Grisham. “This part of the state saw the state neglect its roadways for far too long, and we are fixing that as fast as we possibly can.”
For up-to-date information on this project, go to the statewide road information website at.