Construction of a loop road west of Carlsbad progressed as the Eddy County Board of County Commissioners approved transfer of an extra $6 million to complete the project.
Eddy County Public Works Director Jason Burns said $6 million was originally set aside in the 2023 Eddy County preliminary budget for road construction.
He requested an additional $6 million from Eddy County’s Road Cash Balance Fund to the Roads and Construction Fund to finish the West Loop Road.
More:Flood crossing construction indicates final turn for West Loop Road around Carlsbad
Burns said work on the West Loop Road would be done in five phases and estimated $11 million would be spent to complete the project by either late 2022 or early 2023.
He said officials had spent nearly four decades in talks to connect U.S. highway 285 on Carlsbad’s west side with U.S. highway 62/180.
“When we proposed the preliminary budget, we didn’t have the final numbers for the majority of the West Loop. So, this money will finish the West Loop,” Burns said.
The design for the loop was made nearly 20 years ago and original cost of the project was around $40 to $50 million.
He said the estimated cost now was much lower at $16.7 million as the project was broken down into smaller steps.
“We’re going to put in a road that is going to be sturdy,” Burns said.
More:Design and construction work of two major Eddy County highways moves forward
Eddy County shifts $3.5M for maintenance supplies
Commissioners agreed on the transfer of money from Eddy County’s general use fund for chip sealing work.
Burns said $5,000 was originally set aside for road maintenance supplies as the Public Works Department tackled 55 individual road projects during the 2023 fiscal year.
He said money transferred would help chip sealing efforts on county roads in southern and northern Eddy County.
“In the north they have some quite large (projects) on Shugart Road on the east side of the County. That’s what they’re currently working on,” Burns said.
Shugart Road is located off U.S. highway 82 near Loco Hills.
“The effectiveness and the efficiency of the county crews that are doing this work has been really, really good for the work they are getting done,” said Eddy County Manager Allen Davis.
Mike Smith can be reached at 575-628-5546 or by email at [email protected] or @ArgusMichae on Twitter.