Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Taken at the south junction with I-25 (exit 364). Note tha the directional sign is much older (cracked reflective background) than the route marker.
West terminus: NM-518 S of Buena Vista
East (north) terminus: Ft. Union Nat'l Monument
Previously --- I-25 at Watrous
Length: 31.902 mi.
History: The west leg of this U-shaped route was renumbered from NM-160 in 1970. In 1988, it was combined with NM-477 and whatever the frontage road along I-25 was called then to form a continuous route.
Improvements: Two-lane paved road
Comments: This was one of the more bizarre outcomes of the 1988 renumbering. Yes, it's a continuous route, but it almost turns back on itself. Worse, it creates confusion from two closely spaced exits along I-25, both numbered for NM-161 and identically signed (NM-97/NM-161/Watrous/Valmora). There was really no reason under the criteria used for that renumbering to change NM-477, and it would have been more logical to extend NM-161 along what is now NM-97.