June 6, 2023

NM gets $31 million for train-vehicle collision mitigation in Santa Teresa

Hannah Grover/NM Political Report

A train crosses over the highway near Fort Sumner.

Doña Ana County will receive $37.1 million in federal funding for a project aimed at eliminating train-vehicle collisions in Santa Teresa.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration awarded $31,171,088 in grant funding from the Railroad Crossing Elimination Grant Program.

The grant funding is for a grade-separated roadway under Union Pacific’s rail line in Santa Teresa.

“The crossing sees 40 trains per day, and the project will benefit vehicular mobility in the area to reduce congestion and delays for accessing the nearby industrial parks. The County of Doña Ana is providing a 20 percent non-federal match,” a DOT news release states.

“I’m proud to see the federal government investing in the development of this overpass in the Santa Teresa Region because it promotes safety while encouraging freight vehicles and passengers to use the Santa Teresa Port of Entry,” U.S. Rep. Gabe Vasquez, a Democrat from New Mexico, said. “I recently introduced legislation to modernize our land ports of entry because the ports of entry in New Mexico, like the Santa Teresa Port of Entry, are a leading example of how we need to support our border communities.”

Vasquez is from Las Cruces who represents New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District,which covers most of the southern half of the state, including the Santa Teresa border crossing.

The grant is part of the introductory RCE funding. The program is expected to provide more than $570 million for 63 projects in 32 states over the next four years.

This initial round of grants went to more than 400 at-grade railroad crossings nationwide to improve safety and make it easier “to get around railroad tracks by adding grade separations, closing at-grade crossings, and improving existing at-grade crossings where train tracks and roads intersect,” the DOT news release states. “Project selections for other grant programs that will improve freight rail safety and efficiency, strengthen supply chains, and expand the passenger rail network – representing billions of dollars in infrastructure law investments – will be announced in the coming months.”

For more information, visit Railroad Crossing Elimination (RCE) Program Program FY2022 Selections | FRA (dot.gov).