Albuquerque Rapid Transit (ART) Gets Green Light from FTA
Federal Transit Administration: Letter
Albuquerque, NM- The Albuquerque Rapid Transit (ART) project received the green light to move forward with construction today from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The authorization came in the form of a long awaited Letter of No Prejudice (LONP).
"Obtaining the letter of no prejudice is a major milestone in the federal approval process and significantly reduces any remaining uncertainty about the project and its funding," commented David Leard, HDR Senior Management Consultant. "It sets the stage for Bradbury Stamm to begin construction." HDR Global Transit Director, Tom Waldron, added, "Judging from experience, we are not aware of any projects that have been recommended for Small Starts funding in the President's budget, and have received a letter of no prejudice to commence construction, that have not ultimately received the FTA Small Starts funding they needed to finish the project."
The LONP allows the City of Albuquerque to immediately spend up to $59 million that is eligible for reimbursement on ART construction prior to the FTA Small Starts funding agreement. According to the City's consulting engineers, this is a common practice that has occurred in other cities such as Dallas, Houston, Phoenix and Charlotte, NC. There is already $30.9 million in other federal funds plus $26.4 million in local match dollars that have been authorized and are available for construction.
"ART is a world class transit project that is expected to bring over $2 billion in economic opportunity for Albuquerque and our citizens," said Mayor Richard Berry. "This authorization from the FTA speaks to the quality of the project, the rigor involved to get to this point, and an unwavering commitment by our federal partners. This authorization is literally five years in the making, and I am excited for Route 66, our city and our future," he added.
Bradbury Stamm Construction, Inc. will build the ART project using local labor and sub-contractors. They anticipate having up to 1,000 construction staff and sub-contractors working along the corridor during the construction period.
Albuquerque and ART are already being recognized as a national model for bus rapid transit (BRT), and ART will be the first all-electric BRT in America. Dayna Crawford, ART Project Manager, has been asked to present at the FTA national conference next week to speak about ART's outstanding public outreach efforts.
With the LONP in place, the City could start construction immediately as is commonly done in other cities. However, out of respect for the process, the U.S. District Court, and the ongoing lawsuit, the City will hold off on preconstruction activities until after next week's hearing.
More information is available at BRTABQ.com or by calling the 24-hhour hotline at (505) 398-4ART.