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FARMINGTON — The estimated cost for widening U.S. Highway 64 between Farmington and Bloomfield has increased from about $16.8 million to approximately $19.1 million.

Rosanne Rodriguez, a spokesman for New Mexico Department of Transportation, said the recent increase was caused by a variety of issues that were discovered during the design process for the upcoming phase of construction.

These issues include additional storm drainage features, increased estimated costs for asphalt material and additional rock excavation, Rodriguez said. She said the costs are also estimated to be higher because there has been a recent trend in increased contractor bids around the state.

Rodriguez said construction activities will likely begin this fall and commuters will see increased activity starting next spring.

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