Spaceport America to Get Paved Road

The road to Spaceport America on its groundbreaking day - June 19, 2009 (Photo Credit: Lucinda Land)

Spaceport America will soon have what every facility that sends millionauts on space joyrides really needs: a paved road.

Actually, there will have a paved road directly from the city of Las Cruces to the spaceport being built in the New Mexican desert.

After years of talking about paving the dirt stretch, officials said last week momentum is finally building to carry out the project.

The spaceport authority, Do-a Ana County and Sierra County are working out an agreement for paving the road, said spaceport executive director Rick Homans last week.

The details aren’t final, but so far, it would entail the spaceport authority paying the cost and Do-a Ana County carrying out the project.

“It will make the commute from most places in Las Cruces be about an hour to get to the spaceport,” Homans said. “Ideally there’s going to be some form of public transportation to employees and certainly some form of transportation to visitors who park at Hatch and go to the spaceport.”

Now, travelers from Las Cruces must drive to Truth or Consequences, about 70 miles, and take another road southeast, about 27 miles. The trip takes about one hour and 40 minutes.

Officials say that paving the road was always part of the plan. However, building the spaceport took precedent, and the Legislature has not appropriated the $7.5 million required for the road improvements.