New Mexico May Shutter 14 Rest Areas

April 28, 2010

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New Mexico may be the next state in line to shutter highway rest stops
, according to reports by the New Mexico Independent. The New Mexico Department of Transportation plans to close 14 out of 32 rest areas to save money.

According to the Independent, 10 rest stops are along Interstates 10, 25 and 40, and the other four are along U.S. highways 64, 70 and 180. A department spokesman told the publication the decision to close the facilities was well thought out and based on how many people use each rest area and how close they are to commercial facilities.

The state hopes to relieve some of the financial burden by shuttering the facilities, especially because its state road fund has taken a beating. The Independent reports a revenue shortfall of about $50 million to $60 million in the state road fund, part of which goes to the state's rest areas. By closing the rest areas, the state expects to save $1.6 million, the publication reports.

According to the Independent, the department is considering closing the following facilities:

* Butterfield Trail, U.S. 180
* Fort Seldon, I-25, north and south.
* Scenic View on I-10
* Blackwater Draw on U.S. 70
* Pajarito/Newkirk on I-40, east and west
* Thaxton on I-25, north and south.
* Sierra Grande U.S. 64
* Rattelsnake on I-40, east and west
* Acomita on I-40
* Rio Grande Gorge on U.S. 64

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