NM 31-NM 128 Design-Build Project

Control No. 2104330

Project Overview

The NMDOT is in the design development stage for the NM 31 and NM 128 Alignment Study and Design-Build Project in Eddy and Lea Counties. The NM 31 portion of the project extends 22 miles from its junction with US 285 to US 62. The NM 128 extends 60 miles from NM 31 through the City of Jal to the Texas state line. A separate project (CN 2104490) will be delivered to improve the intersection of US 285 and NM 31 by upgrading it with a new signal system and is targeting construction in 2022 for that project.

Both NM 31 and NM 128 traverse Bureau of Land Management, State Land Office, and private lands, mainly serving the oil and gas industry. Initial evaluations have determined that the highways need pavement improvements, additional lanes and shoulders, passing lanes, sight distance/vertical alignment improvements, and drainage improvements. The study phase will document the existing conditions, identify traffic and safety areas of concern, investigate sensitive cultural and biological resources, seek public and agency feedback, identify improvement alternatives and arrive at a recommended improvement alternative. The study will also create a priority implementation plan consisting of a phased approach to delivering all the improvements, should funding levels require multiple construction contracts.

NMDOT has selected the first phase of improvements to be delivered using the Design-Build procurement methodology.  This provides maximum funding flexibility for NMDOT and its’ partners and allows NMDOT to aggressively move towards starting construction of the improvements sooner. This is possible as NMDOT needs to complete 30% of the design, in the form of an Enhanced Conceptual Design, before it is released to potential Design-Build Contractors for bidding, and thereafter to the selected Design-Build Contractor for completion. This streamlined approach to design significantly shortens the timeline for the start of construction. NMDOT’s last use of Design-Build was for the Paseo Del Norte/I-25 interchange reconstruction project in Albuquerque.


Eddy and Lea

STIP Number


Study and Design


District 2

icon of three people

Public Involvement


The NMDOT, in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration, is in the study phase for the NM 31-NM 128 Design-Build Project in Eddy and Lea counties. Virtual public meetings were hosted on August 31, 2021 and September 14, 2021.  The purpose of these meetings was to share information and answer questions about the Design-Build project and potential improvements in development.


Comments can be submitted by mail, email, or phone.

Project Contact:

Michael Smelker, PDE
NMDOT South Region Manager
750 N. Solano Drive
Las Cruces, New Mexico 88001
Phone: 575-202-3339

Public Meeting (Jal Improvements)

Hosted Tuesday, September 14, 2021 on Zoom

Public Meeting

Hosted Tuesday, August 31, 2021 on Zoom

Resources (Mainline)

Procurement information
MAINLINE 3-Lane Alternative
MAINLINE Depressed Median Alternative
MAINLINE Flushed Median Alternative
Preliminary Recommendations & Roundabouts

Resources (Jal Segment)

JAL MAINLINE Alternatives Status Summary
JAL MAINLINE 3-Lane Alternative
JAL MAINLINE 4-Lane Alternative
JAL MAINLINE 5-Lane Alternative
Do you know the rules of the roundabout?

Traffic Modeling Results for NM 128 in the City of Jal

The Study Team has investigated improving a segment of NM 128 within the City of Jal and has identified a preliminary recommendation of a 3-lane segment, including new traffic signals a the NM 128 intersections with both NM 18 and 3rd Street. To arrive at this recommendation, the Study Team performed a series of traffic models to assess the anticipated future traffic operations in Jal.  These traffic video models can be viewed below.

The goal was to determine the operation differences between stop sign and traffic signal control at the intersections.  All three videos contain the same traffic condition.  We invite you to review the Modeling Results, watch the Traffic Modeling Videos, and share your comments.

Traffic Modeling Results for NM 128 in the City of Jal

Scenario No. 1 – All-Way Stop Control

at 3rd Street/NM 128 intersection and NM 18/128 intersection

Scenario No. 2 – All-Way Stop Control

at 3rd Street/NM 128 intersection and a new traffic signal at NM 18/NM 128

Scenario No. 3 – Signalization

at both 3rd Street/NM 128 intersection and NM 18/128 intersection

Project Timeline

Project Timeline

Phase AB Study

Approx. December 1, 2020 – Approx December 1, 2021

Initial Engineering, Environmental, ROW, and Utilities Development

Approx. August 13, 2021 – Approx. March 1, 2022

Phase 1 Design-Build Request for Qualifications

Approx. August 31, 2021 – Approx. October 29, 2021

Virtual Public Meeting #1 & Comment Period

August 31 – September 30, 2021

Virtual Public Meeting #2 & City of Jal Improvements

Approx. September 14 – October 14, 2022

Phase 1 Design-Build Shortlisting Announcement

Approx. December 31, 2021

Phase 1 Design-Build Procurement

Approx. May 1 – July 29, 2022

Phase 1 Design-Build Request for Proposals to Short-listed Teams

Approx. May 2, 2022

Phase 1 Design-Build Selection of Contractor

Approx. August 18, 2022

Phase 1 Design-Build Anticipated Start of Construction

Approx. November 1 – December 31, 2022