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Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - 11:37pm
LAS CRUCES, N.M. -- Construction for the new multi-million dollar I-10/I-25 interchange project in Las Cruces is officially underway after lawmakers and other dignitaries broke ground on the site Tuesday afternoon.
During the groundbreaking ceremony, Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez emphasized the importance of infrastructure to the economy.
"If we look at the connection between trade and commerce flowing through here much more efficiently it benefits the nation and the world, that's why this is so important," said Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez.
The $53.8 million Project includes much needed improvements to interchange ramps connecting Interstate 10 to Interstate 25.
The Federal Highway Administration said those ramps don't meet current standards. They estimate 27 percent of accidents are because of overturned vehicles on sharp ramps.
The project will also reconstruct bridges on I-10 making them stronger for heavier trucks.
Governor Susana Martinez said large construction projects are good for the state.
"It brings the ability to improve our roadways and it brings us together federally with the states and connects our rural areas to bigger cities bringing in jobs," Martinez said.
A.S. Horner, the company in charge of building the project, is New Mexico based and hired 140 local employees for the duration of the project.
Crews will begin working thursday at midnight. Lane closures are expected throughout the duration of the project and drivers are asked to be patient and obey all construction signs.