Spaceport America Seeks Road Paving Funds as NM Officials Grapple With Deficit

An unpaved road leading into Spaceport America at the time of the groundbreaking. (Photo Credit: Lucinda Weisbach)
An unpaved road leading into Spaceport America at the time of a groundbreaking. (Photo Credit: Lucinda Weisbach)

Spaceport seeks funds to pave ‘critical’ road
Las Cruces Sun-News

A New Mexico spaceport official said the agency needs another $7.5 million to pave a southern road to the facility, a route that would shorten the travel time from Las Cruces.

Steve Landeene, executive director of Spaceport America, said the $7.5 million was authorized along with 2006 legislation approving the spaceport. However, he said, it never was included in a budget bill, a second and necessary step for the funding to be appropriated.

“We’re hopefully going get an improved surface on the southern road,” he said. “It will reduce the time to get to the spaceport to 45 or 50 minutes. That’s a big deal.”

Currently, the trip takes about 90 minutes.

The spaceport authority may face an uphill battle. The state is facing a budget deficit this year, and Gov. Bill Richardson and legislators are looking to recall about $150 million in previously appropriated capital outlay dollars. Also, lawmakers are likely to pare down next year’s spending.

Read the full story.