COLUMBUS, NEW MEXICO-The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) has awarded the Village of Columbus $504,300 to conduct a 36-mile Corridor Study along New Mexico 11 and provide preliminary and final design to increase of the Village's water system capacity to meet the needs of the $85.6 million Port of Entry expansion that Senator Udall and Heinrich secured in 2015. EDA's Austin Regional Office Staff, Jorge Ayala, Regional Director, Trisha Korbas, New Mexico and West Texas Economic Development Representative, and Jason Wilson, Economic Development Specialist, were in Columbus for the award announcement on April 17, 2017.

The Corridor Study will conduct a Phase I A/B Detail Evaluation of Alternative (as defined by the NMDOT Location Study Procedures) along New Mexico 11. The Phase I A/B will consider the coordination of the strategic partners of City of Deming, Village of Columbus, Luna County, New Mexico Border Authority, Deming Public Schools, and other local stakeholders. The study will have a particular emphasis on economic impacts, evaluate strategies for increasing Land Port of Entry (LPOE) commercial freight traffic, and accommodation of the overweight zone. An alternative analysis of various potential corridor and design elements will be need as part of the project.

The water portion of the EDA project will provide environmental planning and permitting, geotechnical investigation, right-of-way and topographic survey, cost estimates and specifications, and preliminary and final design of a new 100,000-gallon water storage reservoir, rehabilitation of an existing water tank adjacent to the new reservoir, distribution line, booster station, electrical controls, well house, and related appurtenances.

The EDA project is meant to be an enhancement of the progress the Village of Columbus and partners have already started. The Village has completed an Economic, Land Use, and Infrastructure Plan; while the New Mexico Border Authority is well underway with the LPOE Diversion Berm Project which will evaluate access near the Columbus/Palomas Border.

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