DEMING, New Mexico (KVIA) -- "We're confronting a true crisis in roadway deaths on the streets and roads of America."
This is how Secretary Buttigieg began his speech to local leaders in Deming, New Mexico Wednesday.
His visit, accompanied by Representative Gabe Vasquez (D, N.M.), U.S. Senator Ben Ray Lujan, and members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, was to highlight the importance of investments made in southern New Mexico as part of the bipartisan infrastructure deal signed by President Biden in 2021.
"We know that in communities like Deming, and so many rural communities, and hispanic, and low income communities, they have not gotten a fair shake from the federal government," said Buttigieg.
"Too many roads are in poor condition. New Mexico faces some of the highest pedestrian fatality rates, and is acting to do something about that, but for too long has had to do that without enough support federally...But we have a chance to change all of that," added Buttigieg.
The secretary says the Department of Transportation has 217 projects underway in the state, some of them in southern New Mexico.
One of the projects includes repairing and improving the stretch of I-10 that runs through the state, including replacing guardrails that the secretary says will "keep drivers safe."
He also touched on the new 6 mile highway connecting the Santa Teresa Port of Entry to Sunland Park, which he says will help "more quickly" transport the nearly "25 billion in goods each year."