NM Highway 109 (Jarales Rd) Railroad Grade Separation Project

Between Trujillo Road (Milepost 5.25) and Camino de Crystal (Milepost 6.0)
Control No. A302220


in the Public Meeting held on

April 5, 2023!

Please read below to learn more about the design, upcoming construction, and CLOSURE OF THE EXISTING JARALES ROAD AT-GRADE CROSSING.

Project Overview

The NMDOT is preparing to replace an existing at-grade railroad crossing in Belen, New Mexico.  The crossing is located at the intersection of NM Highway 109, also known as Jarales Road, and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) railway east of BNSF’s Belen railyard.   The project area starts near Trujillo Road at milepost 5.25 and extends north along NM 109 to milepost 6.0 near Camino de Crystal. NM 109 currently crosses three BNSF railway tracks as an undivided at-grade signalized crossing.  Trains move in both directions at the crossing, and although daily traffic varies, Federal Railroad Administration data (2019) shows the average daily count as 90 trains per day, some of which are nearly two miles long (10,000 feet).  Existing usage on NM 109 includes police, fire, and emergency service vehicles, truck traffic from local industry, local business, residential, and commuter traffic. Vehicles on NM 109 currently experience delays as trains cross the highway throughout the day.

The NM 109 grade separation project will accommodate BNSF’s plan to construct additional sets of tracks for added rail capacity and to expand railyard operations. Due to concerns regarding increased rail traffic volumes, public access, and emergency service response times, BNSF and the NMDOT have agreed that a grade-separated crossing is needed.

Closure of Jarales Rd rail crossing by MAY 8, 2023

BNSF has submitted a written Notice for Closure of the Jarales Road (NM 109) highway-rail grade crossing to NMDOT.  Per a Memorandum of Agreement between BNSF and NMDOT, NMDOT shall take all actions necessary to permanently close the Jarales Grade Crossing by May 8th, 2023.

For more information, please visit https://nmroads.com or contact Kim Gallegos, NMDOT District 3 Public Information Officer, at 505-639-3576 or kimberly.gallegos@dot.nm.gov.



NMDOT District

District 3

STIP Number



Project Contact

Sandra Chavez, Project Development Engineer

Public Involvement


The NMDOT hosted a virtual public meeting on April 5, 2023.  During the meeting, NMDOT and BNSF representatives discussed the upcoming roadway closure, overpass design elements, and anticipated construction timeline.  If you were unable to attend the meeting, please watch the recording and look at the PDF of the presentation.

If you have more questions or want more information,

please visit https://nmroads.com or contact Kim Gallegos, NMDOT District 3 Public Information Officer, at 505-639-3576 or kimberly.gallegos@dot.nm.gov.

April 2023 | Public Meeting Resources

NM 109 Jarales Rd Road Closure & Bridge Project Update - 4/15/23 (PDF)

April 5, 2023

Previous Community Outreach

As part of the Study Phase of development, an in-person public meeting was held on June 11, 2019, at which time six alternatives were presented.  After further development and evaluation of those alternatives, a second public meeting was hosted on August 18, 2020 in a virtual platform to present the preferred alternative to be carried forward into design development.  The Phase AB Study was then completed in October 2020.  During design development, a third meeting was hosted on August 19, 2021.  The Study document and previous meeting summaries are provided below in the PROJECT RESOURCES.

NM 109

Project Timeline


June 2019

Public Meeting #1 (Study Phase)


August 2020

Public Meeting #2 (Study Phase)


September 2020

Completion of Phase AB Study


Spring 2021

Design Development Initiated


August 2021

Public Meeting #3 (Design Phase)


february 2023

Design Completed


April 2023

Public Meeting #4 (Pre-Construction Phase)


May 2023

CLOSURE of Jarales Road At-Grade Crossing (May 8, 2023)


Summer 2023

Anticipated start of NMDOT Construction

NM 109 (Jarales Road)

Project Timeline