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$34 million ‘gateway’ to NMSU opens as state completes I-25 project

The I-25 ribbon cutting ceremony.
KVIA
The I-25 ribbon cutting ceremony.

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - A 22-month construction project involving University Avenue and Interstate 25 is finally complete in Las Cruces.

"It's a gateway," New Mexico State University Chancellor Dan Arvizu told ABC-7 on Wednesday. "It's the new front entrance to New Mexico State University."

The nearly $34 million project had been under construction since January 2020. Prior to Covid-19, more than 35,000 vehicles traveled north and south on I-25 daily, according to the New Mexico Department of Transportation.

The project added two roundabouts to help with traffic congestion during NMSU events, like football games and graduation. One of the roundabouts provides a direct connection to the Pan American center parking lot.

"It allows us to move traffic much more efficiently, much more effectively," Chancellor Arvizu said.

The project utilized artwork authentic to southern New Mexico, showcasing the New Mexico Whiptail Lizard and the Song Sparrow. Other parts of the project depict native plants and crops, such as the ocotillo, agave, onions, pecans and cotton.

"It's a wonderful celebration where we see what our tax dollars are able to be put to use and to see the story of who we are as New Mexicans, specifically in southwest New Mexico," said Lt. Governor Howie Morales. "Just a wonderful celebration."

Kate Bieri

Kate Bieri is ABC-7’s New Mexico Mobile Newsroom reporter and co-anchors ABC-7’s weekend evening newscasts.

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