Traveling 312.58 miles across the Land of Enchantment, U.S. 70 enters New Mexico southeast from the Peloncillo Mountains in Arizona and converges with I-10 beyond Lordsburg Mesa at the city of Lordsburg. U.S. 70 follows Interstate 10 from Exit 22 at Lordsburg east to Exit 135 (Picacho Avenue) in west Las Cruces. The overlap is unsigned along the freeway mainline.
U.S. 70 New Mexico Guides
Emerging from Interstate 10 west of Fairacres, U.S. 70 passes through the city of Las Cruces along Picacho Avenue and North Main Street. U.S. 70 was upgraded to a freeway from Interstate 25 east to Organ. The four-lane corridor serves the northeast Las Cruces suburbs en route to San Augustin Pass between the San Augustin and Organ Mountains.
Leading away from the Las Cruces area, U.S. 70 traverses areas of White Sands Missile Range, White Sands National Monument and Tularosa Valley. U.S. 54 combines with U.S. 70 north through Alamogordo to Tularosa. U.S. 54 continues north to Carrizozo while U.S. 70 turns east through Tularosa Canyon into the Sacramento Mountains.
Passing through Lincoln National Forest, U.S. 70 parallels Rio Ruidoso east to Hondo, where it commences a 43 mile long overlap with U.S. 380 east to Roswell. U.S. 70 bypasses Roswell to the northeast along the Roswell Relief Route. The former route along 2nd Street (U.S. 380) and Main Street (old U.S. 285) is still posted as U.S. 70. Beyond Roswell and a parclo interchange with U.S. 285, U.S. 70 continues to Railroad Mountain, Portales and Clovis. U.S. 64-70-84 overlap 8.8 miles from Clovis to Texico just ahead of the Texas state line.
Completed in 2003, an $80 million project along U.S. 70 east from Interstate 25 in Las Cruces to Organ in Dona Ana County upgraded the corridor into a limited access highway with two frontage roads. The work sparked economic growth in the East Mesa area of Las Cruces.1
The trumpet interchange joining U.S. 70 with Owens Road south to White Sands Missile Range at mile marker 170 was reconstructed starting on July 12, 2004. The 10 month, $4.6 million project replaced three-span concrete bridges built in 1958.2