Adjusted costs for construction bids and improvements to an Eddy County intersection prompted approval of $1 million in emergency funds to continue construction on a loop road southeast of Carlsbad.
Eddy County’s Board of County Commissioners Tuesday approved the funding for phase two of the Southeast Loop Road project.
Eddy County Community Services Assistant Director Steve McCroskey said outside grant money was spent or restricted for phase two and the budget adjustment covered unknown costs that otherwise could stop development.
southeast loopSoutheast Loop Road project near Carlsbad moves along
Eddy County Manager Allen Davis said the County looked at the budget adjustment as a contingency effort if it was needed to cover additional costs.
“This is a proactive effort. If we run into rock issues or other utility issues that have been previously identified,” said Davis.
Eddy County Community Services Director Wesley Hooper said Constructors Inc of Carlsbad started work on phase two and bid of nearly $10 million for the project. The company had until April 1, 2023 for phase two completion.
Eddy County, City of Carlsbad and New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) worked together on the Southeast Loop Road to connect U.S. highway 62/180 and U.S. highway 285.
New traffic signals at U.S. 62/180 and New Mexico 200 along with realignment of U.S. Refinery Road, plus new and widened driving lanes and road shoulders are part of the larger Southeast Loop Road project.
“We’ve done some pretty diligent research to make sure we have everything and designed well for the second phase,” McCroskey said.
Hooper estimated overall cost for the Southeast Loop Road was around $27 million.
He said phase one wrapped up during the spring of this year and the design for phase three was done.
Hooper said Eddy County was negotiating with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), State of New Mexico and private landowners for land acquisition.
“It’s ready to go,” he said.
Hooper said Eddy County planned to seek potential help from NMDOT for phase three funds.
Mike Smith can be reached at 575-628-5546 or by email at [email protected] or @ArgusMichae on Twitter.