- Associated Press - Thursday, March 27, 2014

GALLUP, N.M. (AP) - State and Navajo Nation officials say funding is now in place to finishing widening a key northwestern New Mexico highway to four lanes.

Officials say the project will involve widening the remaining 21 miles of U.S. 491 near Sheep Springs, which is between Gallup and Shiprock. The highway formerly was designated U.S. 666.

Along with adding two additional lanes, the expansion will add a median and improve drainage.

The Gallup Independent (https://bit.ly/1jl8YBA ) reports that the work is expected to be finished in January 2017 and that State Transportation Secretary Tom Church says revenue bonds will finance the approximately $78 million project.

Officials participating in a Tuesday roadside ceremony that used a tractor-trailer bed as a makeshift stage included New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez and Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly.

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