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10th Cir. Halts Albuquerque Rapid Transit at 11th Hour

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By Jonathan R. Tung, Esq. on August 03, 2016 11:58 AM

The Tenth Circuit issued a temporary injunction that halted a rapid transit project in its tracks just days before shovels were set to hit the dirt. It's a feather in Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry's cap after his previous failed attempts to stop the ART.

This is hardly the last anyone will hear of this legal battle. After all, $120 million has already been sunk into this thing.

Small Business Opposition

From the very beginning, there has been pushback from small businesses and local property owners. When the attorney for the local opposing interests got involved, he filed an appeal pushing the injunction further. It looks like Boyd's efforts came just in the nick of time.

City attorneys had previously stated that construction on the Albuquerque Rapid Transit was set to begin as early as this week. Talk about timing, because construction is now on hold per the injunction.

A Big Project

The ART is a nine-mile network of bus-only lanes and bus stations that will run up the middle of Central Avenue. The cost is estimated at between $119 and $125 million, but the federal government is on the hook for most of the money.

Opponents are not entirely opposed to the project in principal, but they do take issue with what they perceive to be corner-cutting and cooking of books as to the impact of the project. Central Avenue is already heavily used and the introduction of a new transit system could disrupt businesses in a negative way, small business owners have said.

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