Feds give OK on key road to Spaceport America in New Mexico

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LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) Federal authorities have given the green light on a key step to upgrade a southern New Mexico road to an aerospace economic hub.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management this month issued decisions on an environmental review of the proposed road improvements. That would lead to a graveled or chip-sealed road being built from Interstate 25 to the remote spaceport in southeastern Sierra County.

The New Mexico Spaceport Authority is paying for the roughly $14 million road improvement project.

The spaceport was initially publicized years ago as the world's first purpose-built facility for launching paying customers, satellites and other cargo into space. The project has been plagued by delays and other setbacks as Virgin Galactic worked to develop and test its spacecraft.