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Author Topic: New Mexico  (Read 56509 times)

thenetwork

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Re: New Mexico
« Reply #100 on: July 20, 2023, 08:25:41 PM »

Even the state's resurfacing projects are hit and miss this year:

There is a several mile stretch of US-550 north of Aztec that is getting resurfaced. -- with big Gov Grisham signs promoting several million in this "community investment" for the last 2 months.  A little over 1 month into the actual construction, only the NB lanes are done, but as of Monday, the lanes have let to be striped and traffic has not yet shifted over...

Meanwhile, on US-64 between Kirkland and Shiprock, a similar-length stretch for a similar type of simple resurfacing --  No big project signage touting community investment  and no two-way traffic shifts onto one side.   This project was completely done in under 2 weeks with little fanfare.

BTW, the US-64 stretch was in much worse shape than the US-550 segment. 

Go Figure!
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abqtraveler

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Re: New Mexico
« Reply #101 on: July 21, 2023, 08:51:23 AM »

I'm tempted to make a snarky "modest proposal" type statement about culling the boomers as they age out of usefulness.
Be a lot cheaper than trying to care for all these old people. 
I say it in jest, but I wouldn't put it past a place like China to actually pull that move as their own demographic time bomb starts going off.
Supposedly in the Soviet Union, particularly during the rule of Stalin, people who were too old or too sick to work or contribute to society were "euthanized." Obviously, and thankfully, we're nowhere near that level of barbarism here.
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Rothman

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Re: New Mexico
« Reply #102 on: July 21, 2023, 09:09:20 AM »

I'm tempted to make a snarky "modest proposal" type statement about culling the boomers as they age out of usefulness.
Be a lot cheaper than trying to care for all these old people. 
I say it in jest, but I wouldn't put it past a place like China to actually pull that move as their own demographic time bomb starts going off.
Supposedly in the Soviet Union, particularly during the rule of Stalin, people who were too old or too sick to work or contribute to society were "euthanized." Obviously, and thankfully, we're nowhere near that level of barbarism here.
Give it a week or two.
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Bobby5280

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Re: New Mexico
« Reply #103 on: July 21, 2023, 08:35:37 PM »

Provided the US doesn't turn into an authoritarian dictatorship we'll probably be doing more to copy Japan's style: an elderly person with no living relatives dies in his apartment. No one knows about it. After a few months or even more than a year someone finally visits the apartment to check on the person when his bank account finally runs dry from automatic bill payments. They discover skeletal remains inside.
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DJStephens

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Re: New Mexico
« Reply #104 on: July 26, 2023, 01:05:54 PM »

Quote from: triplemultiplex
I worry about the demographic trend line in the US. It will affect our tax base and adversely affect funding things like highway construction and maintenance. Of course if our population is aging and eventually shrinking there won't be a need for as many highways.
Here in Oklahoma the rural parts of the state have quite a few highways and bridges as well as seemingly countless number of section line roads. Nearly all the rural areas in Oklahoma are bleeding away population. The state already has serious highway funding struggles. As those rural areas continue to shrink it's going to get harder to justify spending money on roads and bridges in those areas.   Some parts of New Mexico are adding population. But there are other areas which seem like they're in decline, such as the Southeast part of the state.
Population in the SE counties is more "cyclical" depending on the fortunes of the oil patch. Chaves, Lea, and Eddy counties.  There is upscale housing construction occurring, on the fringes of both Carlsbad and Hobbs.   For those fortunate individuals that have found somewhat stable employment there.    For most, it's "hit or miss" or leave when you are laid off.   
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JKRhodes

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Re: New Mexico
« Reply #105 on: July 26, 2023, 08:43:39 PM »

Drove to El Paso several weeks ago and noticed the pavement on Eastbound I-10 between Lordsburg and Deming was quite rough, warped, almost to the point of being hazardous.
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ethanhopkin14

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Re: New Mexico
« Reply #106 on: July 27, 2023, 10:36:18 AM »

Drove to El Paso several weeks ago and noticed the pavement on Eastbound I-10 between Lordsburg and Deming was quite rough, warped, almost to the point of being hazardous.

Strange.  We limped the RV back home from Los Angeles after blowing out the shocks.  The pavement all the way across Arizona was so bad I had to slow down before any rough pavement I saw, and even then it was so rough I was convinced we would end up in the ditch.  The drive across New Mexico was smooth and pleasant.  I even made the comment to my wife that I was shocked that the road in New Mexico would be better than the road in California and Arizona.  This was all heading eastbound as well. 
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DJStephens

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Re: New Mexico
« Reply #107 on: July 28, 2023, 10:39:03 AM »

Drove to El Paso several weeks ago and noticed the pavement on Eastbound I-10 between Lordsburg and Deming was quite rough, warped, almost to the point of being hazardous.

Strange.  We limped the RV back home from Los Angeles after blowing out the shocks.  The pavement all the way across Arizona was so bad I had to slow down before any rough pavement I saw, and even then it was so rough I was convinced we would end up in the ditch.  The drive across New Mexico was smooth and pleasant.  I even made the comment to my wife that I was shocked that the road in New Mexico would be better than the road in California and Arizona.  This was all heading eastbound as well.
Strange.  Was under belief that "Mountain States" recently completed a "mill and fill" from MP 55 (Quincy) to roughly MP 42 heading WB.  Maybe? they didn't do the EB side, although that would be hard to believe.   They did do a cheap Patch job on the Exit 49 interchange.  That bridge was a strange structure, and they did the absolutely cheapest job in "fixing" it.  The corridor, from MP 55 to the E side of Lordsburg (MP 26) should have been completely rebuilt, with a wider median, new interchanges, and a frontage added, along the S side of the ROW, for local ranch access.   Of course, the cheap way out was chosen.   
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JKRhodes

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Re: New Mexico
« Reply #108 on: July 28, 2023, 11:42:22 AM »

Drove to El Paso several weeks ago and noticed the pavement on Eastbound I-10 between Lordsburg and Deming was quite rough, warped, almost to the point of being hazardous.

Strange.  We limped the RV back home from Los Angeles after blowing out the shocks.  The pavement all the way across Arizona was so bad I had to slow down before any rough pavement I saw, and even then it was so rough I was convinced we would end up in the ditch.  The drive across New Mexico was smooth and pleasant.  I even made the comment to my wife that I was shocked that the road in New Mexico would be better than the road in California and Arizona.  This was all heading eastbound as well.
Strange.  Was under belief that "Mountain States" recently completed a "mill and fill" from MP 55 (Quincy) to roughly MP 42 heading WB.  Maybe? they didn't do the EB side, although that would be hard to believe.   They did do a cheap Patch job on the Exit 49 interchange.  That bridge was a strange structure, and they did the absolutely cheapest job in "fixing" it.  The corridor, from MP 55 to the E side of Lordsburg (MP 26) should have been completely rebuilt, with a wider median, new interchanges, and a frontage added, along the S side of the ROW, for local ranch access.   Of course, the cheap way out was chosen.

If memory serves it was eastbound #2 lane somewhere around Quincy signage and beginning of safety corridor. Pavement looked freshly laid but surface had settled and warped some.

Westbound was smooth.
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Bobby5280

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Re: New Mexico
« Reply #109 on: August 08, 2023, 01:50:34 PM »

Last week I went thru the NE corner of New Mexico while driving from Oklahoma to Colorado. There was quite a bit of road construction along the entire road trip. Downtown Amarillo was a mess (I took Loop 335 around for the return trip). I-25 going South out of Colorado Springs is really bad. It's "cattle chute" city with all traffic diverted over to one side while they completely re-build the Northbound lanes. NE NM is arguably an even worse mess.

NM DOT has a couple of re-surfacing projects going on with US-64/87 between Clayton and Raton. Basically it looks like all they're doing is just putting down another layer of asphalt on top of compromised roadway. I was having to dodge around big pot holes in the Des Moines area. Portions of this 4-lane divided highway in a lot of other places are in bad shape. The only spots that are any good at all are the concrete-based segments near Mount Dora.

And just what the hell are they trying to do on I-25 going up Raton Pass? All traffic has been shifted to the Northbound lanes. I could spot some work going on with a couple of bridges, but it doesn't look like they're doing anything to improve the rest of the highway while those lanes are shut down. It seems like a whole lot of disruption for what looks like a patch job.
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abqtraveler

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Re: New Mexico
« Reply #110 on: August 15, 2023, 10:42:35 PM »

Last week I went thru the NE corner of New Mexico while driving from Oklahoma to Colorado. There was quite a bit of road construction along the entire road trip. Downtown Amarillo was a mess (I took Loop 335 around for the return trip). I-25 going South out of Colorado Springs is really bad. It's "cattle chute" city with all traffic diverted over to one side while they completely re-build the Northbound lanes. NE NM is arguably an even worse mess.

NM DOT has a couple of re-surfacing projects going on with US-64/87 between Clayton and Raton. Basically it looks like all they're doing is just putting down another layer of asphalt on top of compromised roadway. I was having to dodge around big pot holes in the Des Moines area. Portions of this 4-lane divided highway in a lot of other places are in bad shape. The only spots that are any good at all are the concrete-based segments near Mount Dora.

And just what the hell are they trying to do on I-25 going up Raton Pass? All traffic has been shifted to the Northbound lanes. I could spot some work going on with a couple of bridges, but it doesn't look like they're doing anything to improve the rest of the highway while those lanes are shut down. It seems like a whole lot of disruption for what looks like a patch job.

NMDOT has been doing construction over Raton Pass since at least 2016. They started by reconstructing the interchange and weigh station at the top of the pass at the state line, and they've been working south toward the town of Raton. It's been stretched out over this many years because all of the work is being done under multiple contracts in phases.  The goatrope that I-25 between Raton and Raton pass has turned into reminds me of the mess US-550 through Bernalillo was when NMDOT decided it would be a wise idea to reconstruct that road in multiple phases that spanned more than a decade.  How history repeats itself.
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DJStephens

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Re: New Mexico
« Reply #111 on: August 19, 2023, 11:27:17 AM »

was at Raton Pass last summer.   One of the two carriageways leading up to the pass on the NM side was heavily potholed.  There is severe winter weather in that pass area.  Ironically, the highway geometry was better on the NM side, of the pass, than the CO side.  The CO side, heading downhill to the north, was narrow, with a center barrier wall and tight interchanges.
And certain "powers that be" want to make this a dedicated PTP corridor for heavy freight?  What are they smoking?  Do they understand the terrain and the weather?   The conditions and obsolescence that exist?   
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Bobby5280

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Re: New Mexico
« Reply #112 on: August 19, 2023, 09:27:16 PM »

The steep grades and occasionally terrible weather make Raton Pass a bad enough choice for routing the Ports to Plains corridor into Colorado. Then there is the matter of traffic capacity thru the Pass. It's not like they can simply add more lanes. That location could turn into a bottleneck.

An improved US-287 corridor from Texas into SE Colorado would provide redundancy to I-25. If Raton Pass was socked in with snow it's possible US-287 would still be open. If US-287 was at least four lane divided going over the caprock it's possible more trucks would shift to using that route rather than I-25.
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splashflash

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Re: New Mexico
« Reply #113 on: August 19, 2023, 11:04:50 PM »

One hopes that the congressional numbering legislation spurs Colorado to be more proactive about their leg of US 287.  Some people from SE Colorado are concerned.


A story from a town near US 287.
https://theprowersjournal.com/2023/05/council-receives-update-on-ports-to-plains-corridor-alliance/

Haggard warned that Colorado is lagging behind other southern states such as Texas or New Mexico in designating its portion of the Corridor as a ’future interstate’ in order to qualify for future funding for their own road improvements.

“We need to alert all of our state representatives to the need to begin to act and let them know that Texas and New Mexico are taking a lead.”   She said a highway spur that runs between Dalhart, Texas and Raton, New Mexico already connects to northbound I-25 thru Colorado to Wyoming.  That spur has the potential to reroute commercial and tourist traffic away from Highway 287, potentially reducing development that would help improve the overall economic climate in southeastern Colorado.

Haggard pointed out several truck stop companies are already eyeing possible land purchases around Raton, based on the potential growth from increased trucker traffic.
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Bobby5280

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Re: New Mexico
« Reply #114 on: August 20, 2023, 12:00:30 PM »

People in SE Colorado might be screwed.

The biggest problem for them is all focus in the state seems to be on the Front Range cities (and maybe some of the tourism spots in the mountains). The Eastern part of the state seems to be less of a priority.

For a long time Colorado's government has had a very stubbborn culture of foot-dragging in place concerning highway improvement. The policy appears to be "do the bare minimum it takes to barely get by."

We see this "policy" in end results like the re-build of I-25 between Colorado Springs and Castle Rock where one mere toll lane in each direction was added. Woo hoo! US-24 going East of Colorado Springs has seen many serious and even fatal collisions due to it being a dinky 2-lane road with poorly designed intersections. CDOT 4-laned US-24 to just short of Falcon (which is blowing up in population). The only thing they've done in the years since is make a couple intersections, such as the one with Elbert Road, a little more visible with some street lights and a turn lane. US-24 should be four lane divided past Peyton and Calhan, if not 4-lane divided all the way to Limon and I-70.

Oklahoma has more highways, section line roads, etc than Colorado yet ODOT has managed to build a lot more 4-lane divided highways through rural collision-prone areas. CDOT seems to be accepting of grisly collisions as just a fact of life.

New Mexico did at least manage to 4-lane US-64/87 from Texline to Raton. They just did a crappy job with the project. At least motorists easily can pass slow-rolling RVs now though. Still, without some serious federal prodding (and funding) it's very unlikely the NM state government would take any initiative at all to improve US-64/87 to Interstate quality on its own.

We could see an absurd situation where an oddly signed "I-27N" gets built to Stratford, TX and goes no farther North. That's currently the point where the current US-287 4-lane configuration ends.
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kwellada

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Re: New Mexico
« Reply #115 on: August 24, 2023, 04:33:34 PM »

And just what the hell are they trying to do on I-25 going up Raton Pass? All traffic has been shifted to the Northbound lanes. I could spot some work going on with a couple of bridges, but it doesn't look like they're doing anything to improve the rest of the highway while those lanes are shut down. It seems like a whole lot of disruption for what looks like a patch job.

I'm potentially going to be taking Raton Pass over Labor Day as part of a leisurely road trip. Was traffic backed up or miserable on your trip, or manageable? I have the option of doing a little backtracking after visiting the Capulin Volcano Natl. Monument to take two lane highways into Colorado if Raton Pass is a pain right now.
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Bobby5280

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Re: New Mexico
« Reply #116 on: August 24, 2023, 09:46:06 PM »

The traffic flow was alright. It wasn't bumper to bumper or anything like that. But I didn't drive through there on a holiday weekend; traffic could be a good bit heavier Labor Day weekend. I imagine the time of day going over the pass would matter too.
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Re: New Mexico
« Reply #117 on: September 19, 2023, 07:19:20 PM »

was at Raton Pass last summer.   One of the two carriageways leading up to the pass on the NM side was heavily potholed.  There is severe winter weather in that pass area.  Ironically, the highway geometry was better on the NM side, of the pass, than the CO side.  The CO side, heading downhill to the north, was narrow, with a center barrier wall and tight interchanges.
And certain "powers that be" want to make this a dedicated PTP corridor for heavy freight?  What are they smoking?  Do they understand the terrain and the weather?   The conditions and obsolescence that exist?

This was the part that always bugged me.

From Wichita Falls to Denver, Colorado, the suggested route is US287 to Amarillo, to Raton Pass via FM1061 and US385 to US87 and I-25 north along the front range through Pueblo, Colorado Springs, and into Denver from the south.

It's 653 total miles, and includes several passes or steep hills (Raton Pass, as well as between CS and Denver near I believe Castle Rock?).

If you take US287 to Amarillo, follow the TX-LP335, back to US287 and follow that through Boise City, Oklahoma and the towns of Colorado such as Springfield, Lamar, Eads, Kit Carson, Hugo, etc... it's only 645 miles. And not one mountain pass. Sure, I-70 has a slight hill somewhere east of Bennett.

But here's the stoppages on the US287 route from I-40 and north:

Getting off I-40, and getting off Lp-335 are both signaled. The entire town of Dumas. The 4-way stop at Stratford. Lights going through Lamar. That's it. Eads and Kit Carson both drive straight through. Springfield doesn't have a light as far as I can remember. I thought at US160 there may have been a stop sign, but google maps doesn't show one.

Now here's the kicker. NM charges a Weight Distance Permit for large trucks, per mile. Why would any truck traverse New Mexico, and one major mountain pass, and all that traffic through the front range cities. To drive 8 miles further. Just because more of it is freeway? US287 even one lane for long stretches is far more open. And not putting money into making that stretch safer, the way Oklahoma did with Boise City is just poor planning.

Eads, Kit Carson, and Springfield need bypasses of at least 2 or 4 lane. No interchanges needed. Lamar needs a freeway bypass around the west side of town probably to tie straight into the US50/US287 interchange. Dumas, in Texas, desperately needs a bypass along with something for Cactus. If traffic dictates and Oklahoma improves the road, revisiting the intersection in Stratford could be done as well. But for now, US54/US287 is a major junction now that probably would need a C shaped bypass to allow both through routes a direct shot around town.

Keeping the two-lane for long stretches of open Colorado landscape isn't a huge issue. Four-laning as expressways would be great. But, not necessary. Fixing the towns first would go a long way to making things safer.
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Bobby5280

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Re: New Mexico
« Reply #118 on: September 19, 2023, 11:11:00 PM »

Quote from: Skyotyk
From Wichita Falls to Denver, Colorado, the suggested route is US287 to Amarillo, to Raton Pass via FM1061 and US385 to US87 and I-25 north along the front range through Pueblo, Colorado Springs, and into Denver from the south.

I don't think the short cut using FM-1061 from the NW corner of Amarillo to US-385 in Tascosa is worth all that much versus taking US-287 up to Dumas and US-87 across to Hartley. FM-1061 is a narrow 2-lane road with no shoulders. It goes over some irregular terrain. A fair amount of semi trucks use it. Those conditions scare me a bit.

And then there's the matter of Dumas having the last cheap gasoline. I usually top off my tank there before driving the rest of the way to Colorado Springs. Farther Northwest it usually gets quite a bit more pricey. Sometimes Dalhart's fuel prices might be okay. Of course I might start altering plans a bit once the Amarillo location of Buc-ee's opens sometime in 2024.

Quote from: Skyotyk
If you take US287 to Amarillo, follow the TX-LP335, back to US287 and follow that through Boise City, Oklahoma and the towns of Colorado such as Springfield, Lamar, Eads, Kit Carson, Hugo, etc... it's only 645 miles. And not one mountain pass. Sure, I-70 has a slight hill somewhere east of Bennett.

My route from Lawton to Colorado Springs is shorter going by way of Raton Pass. I don't like taking US-287 North of Dumas thru Boise City into SE Colorado. The route can stink really bad due to all the feed lots and meat processing facilities North of Dumas. I really don't like that 2-lane road going across the OK/CO border. It's dangerous. Great for head-on collision with a semi.

I don't like driving on 2-lane roads for long distances. During the day it can be easy to get stuck behind a slow poke, especially if the terrain is uneven, blocking visibility of on-coming traffic. We all know the various night time hazards.

If the Ports to Plains Corridor is going to be built into Colorado it ought to be built right. And that means a minimum of a 4-lane divided highway with at-grade intersections. Preferably it would be Interstate quality. If they build Super-2 bypasses around towns they ought to be built in a manner where they can be upgraded to full Interstate quality in phases. Enough ROW has to be bought and reserved up front.
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Re: New Mexico
« Reply #119 on: September 20, 2023, 09:54:29 AM »

Springfield doesn't have a light as far as I can remember. I thought at US160 there may have been a stop sign, but google maps doesn't show one.

Yeah, that surprised me too.  I expected it to be a four-way stop, but nope.

Why would any truck traverse New Mexico, and one major mountain pass, and all that traffic through the front range cities. To drive 8 miles further. Just because more of it is freeway?

Yes, because more of it is freeway.

US287 even one lane for long stretches is far more open.

A local might know that, but not a dispatcher in another state telling the driver which route to take.
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Re: New Mexico
« Reply #120 on: November 02, 2023, 02:03:54 PM »

Does anyone, just offhand, know why there is a big overhead sign on I-40 west welcoming drivers to New Mexico, but no other similar signs at any of the other places an Interstate enters the state? Was it perhaps a local effort or something like that?
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Re: New Mexico
« Reply #121 on: November 02, 2023, 02:32:35 PM »

Does anyone, just offhand, know why there is a big overhead sign on I-40 west welcoming drivers to New Mexico, but no other similar signs at any of the other places an Interstate enters the state?

There's an identical sign over I-10, just north of the Texas state line.

I haven't lately been at the three other Interstate crossings into New Mexico (I-10 and I-40 from Arizona, I-25 from Colorado).
« Last Edit: November 03, 2023, 01:39:16 PM by oscar »
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Re: New Mexico
« Reply #122 on: November 03, 2023, 05:25:21 PM »

I wonder if they'll build similar overhead "welcome" and "you're now leaving" signs on I-25 at Raton Pass. The last time I drove through Raton Pass (in August) they didn't have any welcome to New Mexico signs. The one that was there was installed on a bridge over I-25 that was demolished and replaced.
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DJStephens

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Re: New Mexico
« Reply #123 on: November 05, 2023, 11:05:14 AM »

Does anyone, just offhand, know why there is a big overhead sign on I-40 west welcoming drivers to New Mexico, but no other similar signs at any of the other places an Interstate enters the state? Was it perhaps a local effort or something like that?
Yes there is one on I-10 westbound (actually due N at that point) in Anthony.   Not really sure why these structures were even warranted at all, as a simple two post sign off the R shoulder would have sufficed.  The "leaving new mexico" gantry with the stone base, just off the R shoulder heading southbound just before Exit O is even worse.  It sits where a half mile (2500 feet) deceleration lane should have been constructed for trucking that seeks to exit should be.  Instead, there is an abrupt veer off to the right.  Insane this was not corrected, meaning a decel lane not built at that point.     
« Last Edit: November 05, 2023, 11:15:13 AM by DJStephens »
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Re: New Mexico
« Reply #124 on: November 05, 2023, 02:05:53 PM »

There's an identical sign over I-10, just north of the Texas state line.

Yes there is one on I-10 westbound (actually due N at that point) in Anthony.

Ah, I missed that one, since there's a "regular" sign right at the border. Thanks.


Not really sure why these structures were even warranted at all

I would imagine that no one has ever claimed that these signs were warranted. But why are there so few of them? Is it just where the traffic entering the state is highest? Or perhaps just tourism traffic?
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Interstates clinched: 4, 57, 275 (IN-KY-OH), 465 (IN), 640 (TN), 985
State Interstates clinched: I-26 (TN), I-75 (GA), I-75 (KY), I-75 (TN), I-81 (WV), I-95 (NH)

 


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