New Mexico

$25 million construction project will affect traffic to Las Cruces hospital

How will impending I-25 construction...

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The New Mexico Department of Transportation is moving forward with a $25 million construction project that will affect a heavily trafficked highway interchange.

Once finalized, the changes would affect the University Avenue Bridge over I-25 and the Triviz Drive underpass in addition to the surrounding roadways, according to Molzen Corbin, the architecture firm that would partner with NMDOT.

“You know, our community’s growing," said Ken Miyagishima, mayor of Las Cruces.

The city's mayor likened this upcoming project to a smaller version of El Paso's massive I-10 construction.

"If they can get it done there, I think we can do it here," Miyagishima said.

However, the proposed changes will certainly affect traffic in the nearby area, particularly the flood of vehicles and first responders trying to gain access to Memorial Medical Center.

“Patient safety and access to quality care is always our top concern," said Dale Olson, the hospital's administrator of business development.

Olson said Memorial Medical Center has been aware of the proposed changes for a long time. He also said the hospital will work with the project planners and the city to ensure that emergency response is given high priority.

"Minutes means everything," Olson said. "So If somebody’s critically injured or critically ill, working with stakeholders to make sure expeditious movement of patients happens is absolutely critical.”

NMDOT held a meeting to gather public input in the City Council Chambers at the Las Cruces City Hall at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday.

The company has created a Facebook page and a Twitter account for the project.

The project will start construction in early 2019.