New Mexico Lawmakers Stall Road Projects Due to Financing Shortfall

Fri December 28, 2007 - West Edition

SANTA FE (AP) More than two dozen road construction projects have been postponed because New Mexico faces a financing shortfall of nearly a half-billion dollars.

Transportation Secretary Rhonda Faught told lawmakers on Dec. 7 that 29 projects can’t be built unless the state finds additional revenues or a new source of financing for the road improvements.

Faught said the shortfall is because of rapidly rising construction costs in the past few years and New Mexico isn’t receiving as much federal highway money as the state had anticipated. Some lawmakers contend the shortfall is partly because of spending on a commuter rail service.

The delayed projects were part of statewide transportation package approved in 2003 by the Legislature and Gov. Bill Richardson.