Miles and miles of roads traverse New Mexico, 20,000 of them by the count of the state’s Department of Transportation.
The count covers 10,000 miles of state highways, 981 miles of interstates, 3,424 miles of U.S. highways and 5,595 more of mere state “roads.” Those miles miss county roads, forest service roads and, surely much more.
DOT says we have 33,000 “lane miles” of roads. Four-lane interstates provide 3,924 of those lane miles. U.S. 285 between Vaughn and Roswell and U.S. 550 between Bernalillo and Bloomfield, both also four lane, account for more lane miles.
The state has around 109 miles of roads for each New Mexican, which makes sense with half our 2.2 million people scattered around the nation’s fifth largest state. The other half concentrates in the Albuquerque-Santa Fe north central urban area.
The miles and miles require buckets and buckets of money—$862 million for the current budget year. The money is getting harder to find.
Around 45 percent of DOT’s money, about $375 million, comes from the Federal Highway Administration. The biggest dollar source is the state road fund, which provides $385 million, or about 46 percent.