Udall Celebrates Completion of NM Ports-to-Plains Corridor
CLAYTON, N.M. - U.S. Senator Tom Udall praised cooperation and bipartisan efforts while speaking today at the US 64/87 Highway, Ports-to-Plains Trade Corridor ribbon cutting ceremony. The event marked the completion of improvements to the highway, which runs from Clayton to Raton as part of an interstate commerce route from the U.S.-Mexico border to Colorado.
"Today we are celebrating a success story," said Udall. "I was proud to cosponsor legislation in the House to officially designate the US 64/87 Ports-to-Plains Corridor, and I am proud to be here to celebrate it being open for business. This expanded highway is crucial to the region's economy and the safety of its people. Infrastructure projects like this are important investments for our future, and the value to economic development in Northeast New Mexico and the entire region will be powerful and ongoing."
At the ribbon cutting, Udall also thanked the efforts of Mayor Joe Apache, Mayor Shirley Brooks, former Representative Brian Moore, State Senator Clint Harden, former Commissioner Richard Arguello, Ports-to-Plains President Michael Reeves and Penny Peryatel for their commitment to the project. Representatives from Congressman Luján and Senator Bingaman's office also attended the ribbon cutting to mark the occasion.
The New Mexico segment of US 64/87 is the first section of the Ports-to-Plains Trade Corridor to be completed as a four-lane, paved highway.
In the House of Representatives, Udall worked with local and federal leaders to spur the Ports-to-Plains Corridor and was a cosponsor of the legislation in 2001 to include Northeast New Mexico with this designation. In 2005, Udall worked to secure a $1.6 million earmark to help fund the improvements.
The Ports-to-Plains Corridor starts at the U.S.-Mexico border in Laredo, Texas and traverses through Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma before it ends in Colorado. In 2005, the New Mexico Department of Transportation held a groundbreaking event for the first of seven projects along the US 64/87 Corridor from Raton to Clayton.
The project cost approximately $132 million and included $104 million from the state of New Mexico, $25 million in Recovery Act funds and $1 million in other federal aid.
Udall is a member of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.