That was the message the New Mexico State Transportation Commission got during the meeting it held Thursday in Carlsbad.
The most pressing issue was Canal Street.
"They agree with us that there are things that need to be fixed," said Mayor Dale Janway. "I think we could have an answer pretty soon in how they are going to approach the problem."
Other discussion topics included the general state of roads in Carlsbad and Eddy County, a bridge within city limits described as a "roller coaster," and the failure to make sidewalks along Canal Street compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The full commission, chaired by former New Mexico State Highway and Transportation Secretary Pete Rahn, met in Carlsbad Thursday, providing local government officials and the public an opportunity to air their concerns about roads and their condition in Eddy County.
During the morning session, Janway discussed the condition of the recently completed reconstruction of Canal Street and the problems that need to be fixed.
Later in the day, Janway said that while the state agrees that there are problems with the road work, it has not formally proposed a solution to solving the problems.
Resident Don Neighbors, who is wheelchair-bound, told the commission that the sidewalks are not compliant with ADA standards.
He said the new sidewalks are barely wide enough for a wheelchair and for there isn't enough room for someone to walk along side a person in a wheelchair. He added that the ramps coming off the sidewalks and the intersections are also inadequate.
"There is no ADA accessibility. I hate to see this good project (reconstruction of Canal Street) end up the way it has. I hope all effort will be made to resolve the problems and better serve citizens in the disability community."
He also noted that the signal sounds for the visually handicapped that were installed on traffic lights at two intersections prior to the reconstruction project and then re-installed, are not working.
"There are a lot of problems with this project and making it challenging for people with disabilities," Neighbors said.
Charles Gray, who is visually handicapped, added: "I can't cross on Canal Street. We need help."
Gary Shubert, State Highway Department District 2 engineer in the Roswell office, told the commission that on Wednesday he met with Jon Tully, city of Carlsbad administrator, to discuss the problem.
"We are in the process of setting up a meeting with the Federal Highway Administration," Shubert said.
Carlsbad officials told the commission that the general public believes the city is responsible for maintaining Canal Street and fixing problems there. They said it's difficult to tell people that they can't fix the problems because it legally is a federal highway maintained by the state. Former State Rep. John Heaton, who is now involved in the promotion of the nuclear industry in Eddy County, told the commission that the because of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), a nuclear waste repository located about 27 miles east of Carlsbad, the state received $20 million a year from the U.S. Department of Energy for 15 years for highway funding with an escalator totaling $365 million.
The money was used to build roads that met federal standards along the route of trucks carrying nuclear waste to the WIPP site. Heaton said $5 million from the federal funding was allocated for Canyon Street, which was reconstructed about five years ago to accommodate WIPP trucks at the time.
Heaton said the federal funding expired in June and that the Carlsbad Department of Development has requested a restoration of the funding. "I'm not sure how successful we will be, but we are trying," Heaton said.
Rep. Cathrynn Brown. R- Eddy, said there's a downside to the increased truck traffic on Eddy County roads because of the oil and gas industry.
"In the 30 years I have lived here, I have never seen the volume of trucks," she said. "There is a lot of supply and demand for services in the oilfield. But our roads are taking a beating. We have a lot of trucks 80,000 pounds or more."
She said Eddy County sends a lot of money to the state because of the tax revenue from oil gas. She told the commission that more of that money should be returned to Eddy County to keep the roads in good driving condition.
Eddy County Commission Jack Volpato gave the commission an overview of the county's proposal to build the West Loop Road. He said the county is still working on acquiring the necessary right-of-way access.
"We have finalized with eight of the 10 landowners, and hope to finalize with the two remaining landowners within the next month," Volpato said.
He told the commission that the county has set aside $15 million that it has already saved for the project.
"The west loop will help alleviate traffic and save trucking companies time in not having to come through downtown," Volpato said, noting that the project has been discussed with the state's transportation secretary.
He said although the county would like to build a loop around the east side of the city, the problem there is having to build a bridge across the Pecos River.
"The price tag just for the bridge is between $15 million and $18 million. We don't have that," Volpato said.
On the subject of bridges, Highway Commission Chairman Pete Rahn asked about a bridge in Carlsbad that locals told him is like a roller coaster to drive across.
Shubert, the District 2 engineer for the Highway Department, said the bridge, known as the Dark Canyon Bridge, located on South Canal Street on the south side of La Tienda Grocery story, has been brought to his attention.
"Yes, it does have that roller-coaster feel, and it is getting worse," Shubert told Rahn. "It should not be doing that. I have never seen a bridge do that. I do have concerns about the structure and reinforcement of the bridge."
Rahn replied: Then we should get it done (fixed) quickly."