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County gets $31 million for railroad overpass in Santa Teresa


A plan for a vehicle overpass at the Industrial Avenue and the Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) line in Santa Teresa has recently received significant federal funding.

The overpass would alleviate critical traffic issues in the growing industrial, logistic activities in the Santa Teresa area south of Las Cruces.

“As the Santa Teresa industrial base continues to expand, it is critical to keep commerce moving safely and securely,” said Border Industrial Association President Jerry Pacheco, who lives in Santa Teresa. “The new funding will help us do this.”

U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Luján and U.S. Representative Gabe Vasquez jointly announced recently, that more than $31 million has been awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) for the Doña Ana County Railroad Crossing Elimination Program (RCE) for the project.

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) authorized RCE under the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) to provide funding for highway-rail and pathway-rail grade crossing improvement projects to improve the safety and mobility of people and goods, according to a news release. The Doña Ana County project is one of 63 nationwide that will receive almost $571 million.

“I have worked for years to expand the services and capabilities of the Santa Teresa Port of Entry and secure federal investments in the road, rail, and air cargo infrastructure in this rapidly growing center of New Mexico’s trade economy,” said Heinrich. “This new overpass will finally allow passenger and freight vehicles traveling through Santa Teresa’s port of entry (POE) and industrial parks to drive over the Union Pacific rail line and reduce traffic congestion. This is one more piece in the overall puzzle to help Santa Teresa realize its full potential as a powerhouse destination for international trade, the onshoring of our supply chains, and major economic growth opportunities for New Mexico.”

“The Santa Teresa Region is central to trade and transporting goods, and it’s crucial that we reduce congestion to continue to accelerate New Mexico’s economic growth,” said Luján. This RCE program will also improve infrastructure and improve safety for drivers and pedestrians passing through our state's southern corridor.”

“I’m proud to see the federal government investing in the development of this overpass in the Santa Teresa Region because it promotes safety while encouraging freight vehicles and passengers to use the Santa Teresa POE,” Vasquez said. “I recently introduced legislation to modernize our land POEs because the POEs, like the Santa Teresa POE, are a leading example of how we need to support our border communities.”