New Mexico TRIP report finds poor road and bridge conditions cost motorists $1.9 billion a year

Updated Feb 8, 2016

NM_TRIP_Infographics_Feb_2016_300A quarter of New Mexico’s major locally and state-maintained roads are in poor condition and 16 percent of the bridges are either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, conditions that are costing motorists there $1.9 billion in vehicle operation costs, safety-related repairs and costs related to congestion, according to The Road Improvement Program’s (TRIP) recent report.

The report, also finds that 32 percent of the state’s major local and state roads are in mediocre or fair condition and the bridge conditions breaking down to 7 percent structurally deficient and 9 percent functionally obsolete.

TRIP looked at three major metropolitan areas, Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe, in determining its cost figures. Vehicle operating costs related to road and bridge conditions came to $752 million, congestion costs reached $695 million and safety-related costs tallied at $476 million.

In posting these figures, TRIP highlights the growing need for long-term transportation funds within the state. The organization reports the New Mexico Department of Transportation’s (NMDOT) fiscal year 2016 budget provides just 46 percent of the yearly funded needed to make rehabilitation and repairs to the state-maintained roads, highways and bridges, leaving a gap of $469 million between what’s needed and what is available.

“Investing in our transportation infrastructure, like roads and bridges, serves all New Mexicans,” says New Mexico State Senator William Soules (District 37).  “It smooths the movement of goods and services, reduces costs and maintenance, and improves the economic viability of the state.  While most people take roads for granted, they are vital to a healthy economy and must be maintained.  Investments in infrastructure pay dividends for years to come.”

TRIP also highlighted the economic impact of high-quality roads and bridges in New Mexico, citing that each year $32 billion worth of goods are shipped primarily by truck from locations within the state.

The organization periodically releases state reports such as this one. They are available at