LOS LUNAS — The village of Los Lunas recently secured the remaining $45 million dollars needed to begin phase one construction of the much anticipated I-25 corridor and bridge project.

“Our local senators and representatives worked together to make this a priority project within Valencia County, and were successful in securing 2023 Legislative funding with House Bill 2 funds in the amount of $45 million,” said Los Lunas public works director Michael Jaramillo.

The village secured final funds just in time, as Jaramillo said they would have lost federal and state funding for the project if the new funding was not in place by the 2024 fiscal year which begins in July.

In addition to this year’s HB 2 funds, Los Lunas also secured  more than $10 million from HB 2 at the 2021 Legislative session for phase one of the project. Other external funding sources include more than $53 million dollars from the 2021 New Mexico State Bond Project and $25 million dollars from the New Mexico Department of Transportation through an INFRA grant.

Jaramillo said the village’s portion of phase one of the project will be $5 million.

“With the growth of the community on the east side, this new Los Lunas Boulevard will offer additional access to I-25 and help alleviate congestion from Los Lunas Main Street,” Jaramillo said.

The plan is for the new corridor to run along Morris Road from the interstate. It will then cross over the river and connect to N.M. 47.

Phase one, Jaramillo said, will include construction of the full, four-lane river bridge, a new four-lane I-25 interchange, two roadway lanes with one in each direction and full N.M. 314 and N.M. 47 intersections.

Now that funding is secured, Jaramillo said the next order of business is to get all the right-of-way secured and purchased by December. After that, the village  plans on having the final design reviewed by NMDOT in March 2024.

Los Lunas Mayor Charles Griego said he’s very happy to see the interchange and bridge crossing project coming to fruition stating, “It’s a reality now, not a wish,” Griego said.

Once everything is approved, they aim to start the bidding process in May 2024, have the bid awarded in July 2024 and then hopefully begin construction in September 2024.

Jaramillo said phase two will see the installation of the remaining two roadway lanes, one in each direction, with a 10-foot bike and pedestrian trail on the north side of Los Lunas Blvd.

While funds for phase one of the construction are secured, Jaramillo said the village will continue to seek additional federal and state funds to complete phase two.

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Felina Martinez was born and raised in Valencia County. She graduated from the University of New Mexico in 2021. During her time at UNM, she studied interdisciplinary film, digital media and journalism. She covers the village of Los Lunas, Los Lunas Schools, the School of Dreams Academy and the town of Peralta.