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Navajo Nation Council Seeks Help From New Mexico Gov. Grisham

Navajo Nation Council Seeks Help From New Mexico Gov. Grisham
March 29
06:56 2021

Navajo Nation Council Seeks Help From Gov. Grisham

Governor Grisham

By John Christian Hopkins

The Navajo Nation Council’s Naa’bik’iyati’ Committee has requested financial assistance from New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham  to repave and improve Highway 371.

“When the road was first built, it wasn’t built for heavy traffic, like semi-trucks,” Council Delegate Edmund Yazzie said. He was the bill’s sponsor.

Highway 371 includes 109 miles that runs through the Navajo Nation, north-south, from Thoreau to Farmington. The route is heavily used by semi trailers.

“Our community greatly supports this legislation,” said former Navajo Nation Council delegate and current Becenti Chapter President Jonathan Perry.

Perry said the growth of the oil industry in recent years has led to an increase in heavy truck traffic.

The deterioration of the road is also impacted by high rates of tourist traffic destined for the Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness Area and the Chaco Culture National Historical Park.

In its supporting resolution, the Smith Lake Chapter indicated NM 371 is the main artery in the region that connects seven Navajo communities to Farmington, Grants and Albuquerque. The chapter resolution cited high rates of traffic by private and commercial vehicles and added that “it’s unfortunate the uneven surface, potholes, patches cause liability and wear/tear to the vehicles.”

Crownpoint Chapter President Rita Capitan reported her chapter’s support for the improvements.

“There’s a lot of holes in the highway and the pavement and that’s not good. So it’s about time we get highway 371 redone and resurfaced,” Capitan added.

“I know exactly where all the potholes are,” Council Delegate Mark Freeland said.

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