New Mexico rural roads ranked sixth worst in national study

ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) – New Mexico is once again ranked one of the worst in a national study. This one is all about road conditions in rural areas, and that’s something the state has a lot of.

It’s no secret that some roads in southeastern New Mexico are in pretty bad shape.

The study from a National Transportation Research Group finds 25 percent of New Mexico’s rural roads are in poor condition.

According to the study, New Mexico is rated sixth highest in the nation for poorest rural road conditions.

Road conditions have been problematic for years and drivers are having to pay hundreds of dollars in vehicle repairs every year because of the poor road conditions.

“I get about 20 people a week that do get damage because of the roads,” said mechanic Corey Dear.

Residents and visitors weren’t surprised by the outcome of the study and agree that there is a big difference between the roads in New Mexico compared to other states.

“Every chance I get I come down to Roswell it’s the same old roads, same nasty bumps, same pot holes, and it’s just kind of disgusting because I try to come and be at peace on the road,” said Alex Olivias, Roswell visitor.

But the Chaves County Road Department says they working hard every day to make the roads better, one project at a time

“It’s pretty important to us, Chaves County, to stay on top of it and maintain these roads as much as we can,” said Joe West, Chaves County Road Department operations director.

They maintain 1,400 miles of roads with their annual budget that can range from $750,000 dollars to $1 million.

“We really need to try so much harder to work on our bridges, and our roads and our streets because they’re important to our cities and our towns for people to have mobility,” said Kathleen Freeman, Roswell resident.

Farmers and ranchers say fixing up heavy traffic roads is important because they use them to get their product out to markets.

The report also shows only 21 percent of rural roads are in mediocre condition and 7 percent of the state’s rural bridges are structurally deficient. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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