WASHINGTON (Nov. 16, 2021) – U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) and U.S. Representative Teresa Leger Fernández (D-N.M.) are welcoming $25 million in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) for a U.S. 64 corridor improvement and repair project running through Shiprock, New Mexico.
This project will reconstruct approximately 21 miles of US 64 in northwestern New Mexico. The expansive corridor project includes: approximately four complete bridge replacements; widening and pavement rehabilitation of the entire 21 miles highway corridor; major drainage improvements; safety and lighting improvements, and installation of fiber optic cable to connect communities and monitoring equipment to implement corridor management practices.
“I am grateful to President Biden for making transportation infrastructure investment in Tribal communities a reality and not just a talking point. This $25 million investment will mean better, safer roads for thousands of Shiprock residents and their families,” said Heinrich, a member of the Senate Committee on Appropriations. "In addition, I can’t wait to see how the funding we passed in the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will provide even more infrastructure opportunities across our state. You can count on me to keep fighting to ensure that New Mexicans, no matter where they live, have access to quality highways, roads, and bridges.”
“This massive investment in infrastructure in northwest New Mexico will repair our roads and bridges, improve public safety, and create new opportunities for New Mexicans. I was honored to support this project which will have lasting impacts in rural and Tribal communities across northwest New Mexico,” said Luján. “With the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal signed into law, I’m confident that New Mexicans will begin seeing more investments like this one to repair our infrastructure and create thousands of jobs.”
“Safe roads and bridges are essential to connect our rural and Tribal communities to critical health resources, job opportunities, and schools. Highway 64 is an important transportation corridor that connects New Mexico to our neighboring states and provides mobility for many of our northwestern communities, especially Navajo” said Leger Fernández. “This grant will connect communities within the Navajo Nation to each other and their neighbors. I’m excited to see this important infrastructure investment for my district.”
In 2020, Senator Heinrich and then-U.S. Representative Ben Ray Luján sent a letter to DOT in support of the project requested by the New Mexico Department of Transportation and in partnership with the Navajo Nation and Navajo Department of Transportation.
In April of this year, the Biden administration remodeled an existing grant program as the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant program. One of the goals of the reform is to make funding more accessible for projects that can demonstrate improvements to racial and Tribal equity.