Eddy County Board of County Commissioners tabled a discussion on the final route for Carrasco Road, which would connect two important highways south of Carlsbad, amid calls for public input on the project.
Eddy County Community Services Director Wesley Hooper said six routes were proposed during a series of public and stakeholder meetings in 2022 for the Carrasco Road Project.
The project, still in the planning, needed to be narrowed to a single route, Hooper said.
“There’s still a lot of work of going into the planning,” Hooper said Tuesday, during the first commission meeting of 2023.
Eddy County, Stantec Engineering Services and Carlsbad’s CEHMM environmental services continued to evaluate data for the proposed road project connecting U.S. Highway 285 with U.S. Highway 62/180. Both highways saw increased traffic and delays amid an oil and gas boom over the last few years.
Eddy County Commissioners sought additional public input on the proposed route which officials estimated would cost $25 million.
Justin Wilson, a rancher who lives in the proposed construction area, asked commissioners postpone the vote as some stakeholders did not attend the public meetings.
“We had to research it to find it out ourselves. We would like for them to have more input on this,” he said.
Alisa Ogden, another rancher, affirmed Wilson’s comments on lack of communication with residents, property owners and business operators regarding the project.
She said the project would have direct impact on farm and ranch land used by her family in the proposed construction zone.
Commissioners asked county staff to compile data on the project and to gather a list of people affected by the project. They also asked a tour of the area be scheduled for commission to get a better feel of the venture.
“I want to understand what we’re looking at,” said District 2 Commissioner Jon Henry.
County Commission Chairperson Ernie Carlson wanted more public meetings and he wanted new District 4 Commissioner James Bowen III to get up to date on the project.
“I don’t have information and background,” Bowen said as he wanted to garner a better understanding of the project.