NM 136 provides direct access to an area of the state that has great potential for economic development. The pavement along this 9-mile corridor had reached the end of its life, and upgrades were needed to achieve long‐lasting value on the investment in this roadway. With the expansion of the Port of Entry facilities and new legislation that allows oversized and overweight cargo near the border, there has been an increase in truck traffic on this highway. NMDOT and BHI partnered to investigate innovative pavement options and recommended a Continuously Reinforced Concrete Pavement (CRCP) overlay instead of full reconstruction.
BHI’s innovative, cost-saving redesign used a CRCP overlay system to construct a concrete surface over the existing asphalt surface. This new technology—never used in New Mexico—eliminated the removal and disposal of the existing surfacing material and, therefore, only required a thinner concrete overlay. This saved the NMDOT more than $20 million in full reconstruction costs and provided a long-term, zero maintenance service life for the heavily used roadway. BHI was responsible for the corridor study, preliminary and final design, environmental investigations, hydrologic and hydraulic analysis, aerial mapping, mobile laser scanning, and extensive public involvement and agency coordination.
The study phase was completed within 18 months. Then, the team expedited the design schedule to take advantage of funding availability, compressing it from 24 months to just 12. The project was designed as three separate projects for construction but was bid as one, resulting in additional cost savings and a streamlined construction schedule. NM 136 continues to be a critical corridor for the state and is a significant transportation facility for southern New Mexico.