City seeks money for ramp lighting

The city of Tucumcari is working with the New Mexico Department of Transportation to secure funding for additional lighting at Interstate 40 and U.S. Highway 54 interchange.

City manager Doug Powers said it's a matter of safety and promoting Tucumcari.

"It's dark at those ramps," Powers said. "So dark it may discourage travelers from taking those exits."

Powers said a design using high mast lighting is currently being reviewed by the state. He said the lights should be enough to light up the off and on ramps and a portion of U.S. Highway 54.

The cost of this project will be more $600,000, which is why the city is working with the state to find the funding for the project.

Powers said this project began when the city presented the DOT with a presentation of accident statistics for that section of highway.

"There is a clear concern for public safety," said David Gonzales, NMDOT project manager.

Gonzales said additional lighting in that area would improve public safety and bring more awareness of the town to the travelers on I-40. He said at this point the project is only in the planning and reviewing stage.

Powers said if the funding is secured and the design approved the project should go out to bid in August. He said the construction time should be 30-45 days.

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