New Mexico utility starts work on major pipeline project

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico utility has started work on a major infrastructure project that will stretch from Bernalillo to Santa Fe.

New Mexico Gas Co. announced Monday that the new pipeline will boost capacity and reliability for natural gas customers in northern New Mexico, including those in Native American pueblos and communities as far north as Taos, Questa and Red River.

As part of the $60 million project, crews will be installing a larger diameter pipeline on an existing route that spans about 35 miles (56 kilometers) along Interstate 25. Officials say the work will not interfere with traffic along the highway, but motorists can expect construction signs and turning trucks on nearby roadways as sections of pipe are brought in.

The utility expects the work to be done by the winter.

Utility President Ryan Shell said the project also will help accommodate future growth. As the largest natural gas distribution utility in the state, New Mexico Gas Co. serves about 530,000 customers.