NM asking the feds for $$ to cut emissions on I-40

As the great economist Milton Friedman once said, “If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand.” Exhibit A. might be the stretch of I-40 which traverses New Mexico. At 373 miles in length and arguably part of the most important shipping routes in the USA, I-40 is in a state of disrepair. A report from KRQE channel 13 states:

“There’s multiple deficiencies and immediate needs. Pavement is deteriorating rapidly.

There are “miles of crumbling roads, dangerously short on-ramps, and high rates of crashes—a new study suggests those problems and more along I-40 between Arizona and Albuquerque; and there’s no easy fix.”

There are 118 curve deficiencies—or problems with areas where the road curves—multiple bridges in disrepair, and around 70 ramps and merge areas that are too short; something engineers say has made for high-crash areas along the route.

These problems can be deadly as “We get about 18 fatal crashes a year on this corridor and about 17 serious injury crashes” according to Stephanie Miller, deputy project manager with Parametrix, who performed the study for the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT).

While NM DOT is slowly working to develop a plan to possibly expand the road New Mexico is indeed asking the federal government for $250 million. But if the money is approved it won’t go to road improvements. Instead, according to another KRQE report, “The state is hoping to help establish clean transportation fueling centers along I-40. These centers would have electric charging stations and mobile hydrogen refueling. Three of these sites would be in New Mexico (one near Albuquerque, one near Gallup, and one in Tucumcari).”

The big-picture idea is to “decrease cumulative greenhouse gas emissions by over 1.3 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent through 2050” across five states, according to the environment department.