ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — During a series of meetings I attended in New Mexico this week, it was hard not to notice all the road work underway throughout the state – particularly on the Paseo del Norte/Interstate 25 interchange in Albuquerque. America’s 48,000-mile system of highways and byways is the backbone of the strongest economy in the world, and those who endure harsh summer heat to keep it functioning are critical to keeping it that way. We each owe those highway workers a lot.
As anyone who has hit a pothole knows, our roads aren’t getting any younger. America’s infrastructure, which is critical to everyone whether they drive or not, needs help. The president’s “GROW America” Act will reinvigorate state and local highway investments and create jobs for thousands.
Investing in I-25 and other major routes is central to keeping our nation’s economy strong. Making sure they stay strong and functional requires innovations. FHWA’s engineers are working with state and local experts to devise new and better road-building materials, like “warm-mix” asphalt, which substantially lengthens construction season into colder months and helps states get more repair work done each year.
These innovations save time, money and lives.
To ensure our roads remain the world’s best, there is no time like the present. We want to make sure we make every day count – and FHWA’s “Every Day Counts” initiative is catching on with our state and local counterparts across the country. In addition, the FHWA is working with the New Mexico Department of Transportation and the city of Albuquerque on an EDC project-delivery method known as “design-build” for the Paseo del Norte/I-25 interchange reconstruction, which will relieve traffic congestion, improve air quality, make travel safer at one of the busiest interchanges in the state, and be completed sooner than previously possible.
Thanks to Cabinet Secretary Tom Church, NMDOT is among the first in the nation to organize its own State Transportation Innovation Council, which will help projects start and be completed quickly.
I’m proud of the work we’ve done for the Land of Enchantment, and especially thankful to the highway workers there who are helping to keep roads in good condition. I hope you’ll join me in keeping them safe by driving carefully around their work areas in the weeks and months ahead.