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New Mexico aviation infrastructure graded C-

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By Harold Morgon

New Mexico has a seaplane base. It’s one of 61 airports open to the public, according to the 2005 Report Card on New Mexico Infrastructure from the New Mexico Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers.
The report said our aviation infrastructure, graded C-, is ahead of the national average of D+.
This is as it should be; with the least amount of surface water of any state, we have a seaplane base.
Wikipedia places the base on Conchas Lake, near Tucumcari, and says it’s owned by the U.S. Corps of Engineers. This figures; the Corps messed up the New Orleans levees, but managed a seaplane base in the desert. The base brings new meaning to puddle jumping.
The locator balloon on Google Maps places the base in the middle of the lake. This is a little startling, even though expected.
Quay County, where Tucumcari is county seat, is home to another odd transportation structure, courtesy of the Department of Transportation. It is a “sally port” type gateway on I-40 near the Texas border with pillars on either side of the road and a sign saying, “Welcome to New Mexico,” stretching across the road.
The I-40 site boasts two such structures, one for each direction. My scout reports that the structure confronting people driving east has only one pillar.


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