Project to fill defunct brine well facing $9M shortfall
CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) - A project aiming to stop a defunct brine well in southeastern New Mexico from collapsing is facing an estimated $9 million shortfall.
The Carlsbad Current-Argus reports New Mexico Energy Secretary Sarah Cottrell Propst said last week the anticipated budget shortfall for the remediation of the Carlsbad Brine Well is $8.9 million. She says the cost of the project rose during the engineering and design work.
The project, which would fill a 400-foot (122-meter) underground cavity below the intersection of U.S Highways 285 and 62/180, was first estimated to cost $43 million.
A collapse could interrupt a main thoroughfare for New Mexico's oil industry while also damaging the Carlsbad Irrigation District and train tracks.
Experts say a collapse could cost as much as $1 billion in damages, litigation and loss of life.
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