Socorro County Commissioners are hoping a bridge located in Central New Mexico will receive the necessary funding from the Federal Highway Administration to be a candidate for the Large Bridge Investment Category.

Last week, the board agreed to submit a letter in support of the New Mexico Department of Transportation’s application for the Nogal Canyon Bridges replacement Project.
The project includes the replacement of a pair of single deck bridges on Interstate 25 crossing over Nogal Canyon midway between Albuquerque and Las Cruces in central New Mexico.

In the board’s letter, commissioners noted the Nogal Canyon crossing is vital to interstate traffic, and ensuring the efficient mobility along this corridor is of regional, state, and national significance.

The letter also noted the existing Warren truss bridges were built more than 50 years ago and are often identified as the most significant and representative feature of the interstate system in New Mexico. Both bridges are considered fracture critical, characterized by geometric deficiencies, and their condition is rapidly deteriorating. Each bridge requires major rehabilitation to maintain minimally acceptable levels of service required to accommodate interstate traffic.

Commissioners noted that if either of the existing bridges are closed for repairs of rehabilitation, all through traffic in that direction would need to use a detour route adding more than 50 miles and an hour of delay for each trip.

It’s the commissioners’ hopes the two bridges could be replaced by a single deck bi-directional bridge of a multi-span steel girder design. Once constructed, the Nogal Canyon bridge would be considered the signature bridge of the New Mexico interstate system.

Nogal Canyon bridges connect the state’s two largest cities and it is heavily used by both automobiles and commercial traffic. Replacing the Nogal Canyon Bridges would deliver more efficient and safer mobility for personal and commercial users of the I-25 corridor thus improving the quality of life and economic development opportunities throughout the region and the state, the letter noted.

Commissioners noted they are passionate about New Mexico and the infrastructure that provides safe and efficient mobility for all transportation users that supports the economic vitality of the state when reviewing the proposed bridge upgrades.