US 66 in New Mexico
US 66 is a former US Highway in the US state of New Mexico. The route formed an east-west link through the center of the state, from Manuelita on the Arizona border through Gallup, Albuquerque and Tucumcari to the Texas border at Glenrio. US 66 was 784 kilometers long in New Mexico, the longest distance US 66 traveled within a single state.
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US 66 followed what is now the Interstate 40 corridor, passing through Gallup, Albuquerque, and Tucumcari. In western New Mexico, much of the original route still exists, with I-40 often built parallel to it a short distance. West of Albuquerque, the original route is missing only around the Continental Divide and in the desert not far west of Albuquerque.
The old route still exists in the urban area of Albuquerque and is a major urban arterial. The US 66 crossed the Rio Grande here. Route 66 followed Central Avenue through Albuquerque. East of the city, US 66 ran through the Tijeras Canyon. East of Albuquerque, the original route continues to Moriarty, east of which US 66 has been replaced by I-40 in most places, although some frontage roads still exist.
An important intersection at the time was Clines Corner where US 66 crossed US 285. Today this is a small truck stop. The old US 66 still exists through Santa Rosa and through Tucumcari. East of Tucumcari, the original US 66 runs a short distance from I-40 and continues here as far as the Texas border at Glenrio.
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US 66 ran through New Mexico from its inception in 1926. Originally, US 66 through the middle of the state followed a more northerly route, via Santa Fe, on what was now State Route 6 to Los Lunas, I-25 through Albuquerque to Santa Fe, and US 84 back to I-40. This was quite a detour for east-west traffic and was corrected in 1937 to the current route through Tijeras Canyon.
US 66 was paved only between the Arizona and Gallup border and through Albuquerque in the early 1930s. The former route from Albuquerque via Santa Fe to Las Vegas was also largely asphalted at the time, later this became US 85. Along with US 80 and US 85, asphalting US 66 was a high priority in New Mexico. By 1935, several stretches of road in both western and eastern New Mexico had been paved. By 1937, a long stretch from west of Santa Rosa to the Texas border had been paved, as well as well west and east of Albuquerque. After that, the remaining parts were paved at high speed, by 1938 the entire route was asphalted. In 1938, it was the first US Highway in New Mexico to be completely paved.
Between 1937 and 1985, the route of US 66 through New Mexico remained untouched, but the route was gradually replaced by Interstate 40. The last parts were the bypasses of places that depended on through traffic. Eleven portions of the original US 66 in New Mexico are listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP).
Several portions of the original US 66 are now numbered State Routes, including SR-118, SR-112, SR-124, and SR-333, some Business Routes off I-40, and several frontage roads off I-40. No part has been given the number 66.
US 82 in New Mexico
US 82 is a US Highway in the US state of New Mexico. The road forms an east-west connection in the southeast of the state, from the city of Alamogordo through Artesia to the Texas border . The road is of secondary character, and is almost nowhere extended with more than one lane in each direction. The road is 310 kilometers long.
US 82 just east of Alamogordo.
On the north side of Alamogordo, US 82 begins at an intersection with US 54 and US 70, which run to Santa Rosa and Roswell from El Paso and Las Cruces, respectively. The road then runs through a canyon through the Sacramento Mountains, reaching an elevation of about 1,800 feet. The area then remains mountainous for quite some time, and the 175-kilometer route to Artesia has few villages on the route, and there are no important roads to cross. Towards the east, the wooded mountains change into a steppe landscape. Artesia is a small town with 11,000 inhabitants. One crosses the 2×2 US 285. here, which runs south from Roswell to Carlsbad. After Artesia the landscape is much flatter, and you pass through a prairie area where a lot of oil is extracted, the area is dotted with pumpjacks. It’s about 100 miles to Lovington, the last town before the Texas border. Here one crosses the 2×2 SR-18 which runs south to Hobbs. US 82 then reaches the Texas border, after which US 82 continues in Texas to Lubbock.
State Route 83 was the predecessor of US 82, although the road between Lovington and the Texas border did not yet exist. US 82 was added to the network in 1932, but it ran no further west than Texarkana at the time. In 1934 the route was extended to Lubbock and in 1961 to Las Cruces. In 1990 this was shortened again to Alamogordo to avoid unnecessary double numbering with the US 70. US 82 is somewhat of a secondary route in New Mexico, partly because US 70, which runs a little more north, has more through importance. The US 82 is therefore almost entirely single-lane.
At the end of the 1930s, the first parts were asphalted, initially between Artesia and Lovington. By 1950, almost the entire route was paved, but the 20-mile stretch from Lovington to the Texas border was not built until the early 1950s, directly as a paved road. When the route became part of US 82 in 1961, the entire route was asphalted, since then no major changes have been made to the route.
The road is quite quiet, the intensity decreases from Alamogordo to Artesia from 4200 to 1800 vehicles per day. Between 1,400 and 3,100 vehicles drive from Artesia to Lovington, and 1,200 vehicles cross the Texas border every day.