FARMINGTON – New Mexico receives $ 25 million federal funding for a transportation project in the Navajo Nation.
New Mexico Congressmen announced the state has received funding from the US Department of Transportation-administered grants to rebuild America’s infrastructure with sustainability and justice (RAISE).
The New Mexico Department of Transportation has been working to improve the section of Highway 64 that runs west from Shiprock to the Arizona state line.
The road serves residents in chapters along their route and is used by visitors to access designations such as the Four Corners Monument and Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park.
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The Transportation Department reported last year that a study found the road and its four bridges to be out of date with multiple issues, such as poor road conditions, potholes and damaged railings.
NMDOT officials were unavailable for comment, but the project is listed on the department’s website as being in the study and design phase.
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US sensors Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Luján and US MP Teresa Leger Fernández welcomed the award and said in a press release that it will help improve security in the region.
“Safe roads and bridges are essential to connecting our rural and indigenous communities to vital health resources, jobs and schools. Highway 64 is an important transportation corridor that connects New Mexico with our neighbors and, in particular, provides mobility to many of our northwestern communities.” Navajo, “said Leger Fernández.
A $ 2.3 trillion coronavirus aid and government spending bill, approved in December 2020, allocated $ 1 billion to the U.S. Department of Transportation for RAISE grants.
In the press release from Heinrich’s office it is said that the Biden administration converted an existing scholarship program into a RAISE scholarship program in April.
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One goal of the reform is to facilitate funding for projects that demonstrate improvements in racial and tribal justice, the communication said.
“I am grateful to President Biden for making investments in traffic infrastructure in tribal communities a reality, not just a topic of conversation. This $ 25 million investment will mean better and safer roads for thousands of Shiprock residents and their families, ”said Heinrich.
Noel Lyn Smith reports on the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 or by email at [email protected]
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