Pete Buttigieg Visits New Mexico to Discuss Infrastructure Needs

April 5, 2023
Pete Buttigieg announced the federal government's pilot program created by the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) to help with road safety throughout the state

On Tuesday, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg visited New Mexico as part of the Biden Administration's "Investing in America" tour. 

The transportation secretary visited Albuquerque and Las Cruces, New Mexico. He was joined by Senator Martin Heinrich and Santa Ana Pueblo leaders for a site visit to a roadway safety location. 

They announced the federal government's pilot program created by the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) to help with road safety throughout the state.

"This is something that Sen. Heinrich and others in the New Mexico delegation helped to make sure was part of the big infrastructure bill. That's really a first-of-its-kind federal program. $350 million specifically to help build the kind of infrastructure that will prevent those collisions, some of which have been fatal when you have large wildlife crossing roadways like I-25," Buttigieg said.

"Sometimes the smarter design, in this case, there's a proposal, for example, to actually allow a way to pass over the interstate can pay for itself in terms of the damage, the crashes, the injuries and even the fatalities. That would no longer happen if we can prevent those collisions. So, this is something new for the federal government to be doing, but we believe it can make a big difference. It's something that we're implementing through that bipartisan law of the past and looking forward to seeing the results," he added.

In an interview with KOAT, Buttigieg spoke about New Mexico's infrastructure needs.

When asked about what's being done with safety on the interstate, Buttigieg had this to say:

"New Mexico has major infrastructure needs, and a lot of those tie back to safety. Safety is our number one priority at the U.S. Department of Transportation. So, we've been working with the governor and the State Department of Transportation here to try to make sure there is resources to help with everything from improvements to the interstates themselves to what we're announcing today — wildlife crossings to reduce the number of collisions," the transportation secretary said . "Every part of the state has different needs, and we're not going to set up all the answers in Washington, but we are making sure the funding is available for those locally driven plans that are going to make a difference on the ground."

Today, Buttigieg will join the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), including Chair Nanette Barragan, Congressman Gabe Vasquez, Senator Ben Ray Lujan and other local leaders in Deming, New Mexico, for a conference to highlight the IIJA and investments.

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Source: KOAT.com