Costs to repair flood damaged roads will be high

Posted at: 09/19/2013 5:45 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

New Mexico will have to pay a heavy price for damages in the recent rainstorms – especially for damage to roads and bridges.

Phil Gallegos of the State Department of Transportation said the price tag could rise as high as five or six million dollars, and that might be a lowball estimate. Engineers are working now to figure out what needs to be fixed, how fast it has to be done, and how much taxpayers will have to pay for all of it.

"The southwest corner of the state got hit pretty hard, down around Mogollon and Silver City,” Gallegos said. “I know up north we got hit pretty hard around Las Vegas, then today at Rio Chama. It’s pretty extensive and widespread, even to the east – Tucumcari, Clovis, Roswell.”

Gallegos said the trouble with roads is they don’t fix themselves and you can’t just leave them alone and hope they won’t get any worse. Small problems like erosion and cracks and potholes tend to get bigger and bigger, especially when the next storm hits

Gov. Susana Martinez has already requested disaster relief from the federal government, and Gallegos said money for road repairs could come from that.