Opponents of the ongoing Albuquerque Rapid Transit project along Central Avenue (aka Route 66) this week dropped a lawsuit that sought to stop the construction.
The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals refused to stop construction after a lower court ruled the project could proceed.
The Albuquerque Journal reported:
Yolanda Gallegos, an attorney for the plaintiffs in the case, said that although Tuesday’s filing brings an end to the litigation against ART, her clients will still try to correct problems they see with the project. A number of people, businesses and community groups had brought the lawsuit seeking to stop ART.
Gallegos said her clients still had great concerns about congestion, safety, how the project will affect businesses and funding for construction and operation of the transportation system.
The project aims to dedicate two lanes for transit buses and stations along nine miles of Central Avenue. Construction began in October; the work is expected to take nearly a year.
The Journal earlier in the week published a story about the effect of ART construction on Central Avenue businesses. As you might expect, many businesses reported a sizable drop in revenues because of the road-construction hassles and the resultant drop in traffic. An ART spokeswoman acknowledged sales drops of 25 to 40 percent.
But a few businesses also have reported stable or even rising sales revenue since the ART project began, along with new stores, restaurants and housing developments rising along the corridor. A few businesses took advantage of a city program to help publicize their places to good effect. A few businesses also banded together help each other during the project.
In other developments:
— The Journal reported detains remain unclear about the city’s upcoming bridge-loan program for businesses affected by ART construction. The city is supposed to begin issuing loans next month.
— KRQE-TV reported a clever vandal altered one of the construction signs in the ART zone from “utility work ahead” to “futility work ahead.”
— More than a year after the Federal Transportation Administration announced it would authorize a $69 million grant to cover much of the $119 million project, the city of Albuquerque still hasn’t received the money. It requires an act of Congress to allocate the funds. It remains uncertain what will happen to ART if Albuquerque doesn’t get the money.
(Screen capture image of ART construction from Albuquerque Journal video)