The NM 475 Study is being conducted in accordance with the NMDOT’s Location Study Procedures (2015)– the policy document followed by the NMDOT to comply with state and federal transportation planning and environmental regulations. This guidebook outlines the following phases of project development:

Study infographic

The current Study consists of a Phase IA Initial Evaluation of Alternatives. The first steps of the Study are to provide existing conditions information, establish the purpose and need, and gather public input. As the Study proceeds, initial alternatives that address the purpose and need will be identified. With public input and review of evaluation factors, alternatives that are clearly not feasible will then be removed from further consideration. Subsequent phases, if determined to be warranted and if funding is available, will include a detailed evaluation of the remaining alternatives, selection of a preferred alternative, environmental documentation, preliminary and final design, and ultimately construction. The anticipated schedule for Phase A is shown below:

Identify Existing Conditions January 2022
Conduct First Virtual Public Meeting February 2022
Establish Purpose and Need April 2022
Identify Potential Alternatives May 2022
Evaluation of Alternatives July 2022
Conduct Second Public Meeting September 2022
Prepare Phase A Report December 2022

Study Team

A multi-disciplinary Study team has been established that includes highway engineers, transportation planners, environmental specialists, public involvement specialists, right-of-way specialists, and others. The Study Team’s role is to perform technical investigations, develop and implement agency coordination and public involvement, and develop recommendations based on technical analysis and public comments. A primary goal for the Study Team is to develop alternatives that are balanced with the community and that are integrated with the surrounding environment. While the Study Team is instrumental in making decisions, the decision process also requires the involvement of senior managers from the NMDOT and Federal Highway Administration, who have a broader view of financial resources and statewide needs.