A loop road connecting two major U.S. highways in Carlsbad and Eddy County received nearly $4 million in additional funds approved by Eddy County’s Board of County Commissioners.
Dec. 7, commissioners approved a $2.85 million transfer from Eddy County’s Roads and Construction Fund to the Road Fund for work on the West Loop Road west of Carlsbad.
Eddy County Public Works Director Jason Burns said work on the estimated $10 to $12 million project connecting U.S. Highway 285 with U.S. Highway 62/180 started Sept. 1.
“This funding is intended to allow Public Works to proceed with the construction of the West Loop Project,” he wrote in a memo commissioners.
Eddy County and the City of Carlsbad agreed in June to a construction partnership.
City of Carlsbad Deputy City Administrator KC Cass said the City’s share of the project was around $3 million and the Loop Road was nearly six miles, with nearly two miles in the Carlsbad City Limits.
Burns requested a budget reallocation of $1 million originally approved for the current fiscal year for a realignment project along Carrasco Road.
“The Carrasco Project will not be encumbered this fiscal year, and Public Works would like to continue the progress of the West Loop Project,” Burns wrote in a separate memo to commissioners.
“It is our intention to budget the Carrasco Realignment Intersection Project to coincide with the New Mexico Department of Transportation’s (NMDOT) (New Mexico) 31/(U.S.) 285 intersection project, which is tentatively scheduled for the latter part of 2022,” the memo stated.
Cass said the road would start at the intersection of Highway 524 and Jones Street, west of Carlsbad and ends at the intersection of U.S. 62/180 and Corrales Road.
Burns said completion of the road was anticipated by the end of 2022.
Road work welcomed by coalition of energy companies
The West Loop Road was not the only road construction project undertaken by Eddy County.
Crews continued work on a Southeast Loop Road near Carlsbad and NMDOT undertook a major construction project on U.S. 285 near Loving to the Texas State Line.
The Permian Strategic Partnership (PSP) collaborated with NMDOT and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to address road safety issues associated with construction in both states, said Debra Richmond, director of road safety initiatives for PSP.
“We frequently participate in stakeholder discussions and focus groups to identify and – when possible – get ahead of safety concerns,” she said.
“The PSP and several of our member companies are also increasing our communication with law enforcement to provide more education on ‘hotpots’ and specific issues.”
Richmond said regular communication with the PSP, its members and the public sector addressed crowded roads in the Permian Basin.
“The PSP wants the traveling public to know that they have the best possible safety advocates within NMDOT, TxDOT, our county leadership, and our member companies. Safety is our shared priority and is the reason for the accelerated delivery of energy road projects in the Permian Basin,” she said.
“While navigating through construction is never easy, we hope the public realizes that the temporary headaches will result in safer, more reliable roads for those living, working, and traveling through the Permian Basin.”
Mike Smith can be reached at 575-628-5546 or by email at [email protected] or @ArgusMichae on Twitter.