Overhauling the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge on US 64 with barriers, nets or some other suicide deterrent is no small task. Aside from engineering and the human power needed to eventually install safety improvements, it'll cost several million dollars.
This year, the bridge will get $30,000. Legislators approved the expenditure with the state budget, which was signed by New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez March 7.
The governor also signed the annual "capital outlay" bill, which allocates state funds for infrastructure improvements, such as water system upgrades and equipment purchases.
The Legislature allocated a bit more than $1 million for projects in Taos County. While the governor signed off on most big-ticket requests in the region, such as $150,000 for a Questa ambulance and another $175,000 for Raton to buy vehicles, she line-item vetoed several projects, such as $50,000 for plumbing at Enos Garcia Elementary School.
In Colfax County, the governor nixed $25,000 for water system improvements in Maxwell.