New Mexico Faces Huge Road Maintenance Shortfall

New Mexico – New Mexico's financial woes go beyond a more than $400 million shortfall looming next year in the state budget that pays for public education, Medicaid and governmental programs such as prisons and courts.

The state's transportation network is caught in a separate financial squeeze and that poses another big challenge for Gov.-elect Susana Martinez, who takes office Jan. 1.

Transportation Secretary Gary Giron (HEE-rohn) warns that his cash-strapped agency faces problems in maintaining New Mexico's roads and bridges.

Giron told lawmakers recently there's a nearly $200 million yearly shortfall for routine maintenance, such as preserving pavement, chip-sealing roads, preventative repair of bridges and drainage work. An additional $50 million a year is needed to replace bridges and make major repairs.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.