ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – KRQE News 13 has learned a joint decision has been reached between the Federal Transit Administration and opponents of the Albuquerque Rapid Transit project, dropping the two lawsuits filed last year against ART.
Official construction on the controversial ART project began last October.
Last year, opponents filed two lawsuits, hoping a federal judge would stop construction until there was a ruling. However, they were rejected.
Both lawsuits were dropped in joint decision made official in federal court by both parties on Tuesday. That’s after courts disagreed with their claims that the project was pushed through without enough community input, and that a full environmental review should have been done before ripping up Route 66.
“After that issue was decided by the judge, and then the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, there was no reason seen to continue the case at this time,” attorney John McCall said.
The city said no one was available to discuss the dismissal on camera Tuesday, but a statement from the mayor said the city will work diligently to help create opportunity for Albuquerque and the Central Avenue corridor throughout ART.
But ART critics say dropping the case in court doesn’t mean they’re dropping the issue altogether.
“Oh no, the fight against ART is not over,” McCall said.
They’re still asking about the $69 million grant the FTA recommended to fund the project, but Congress hasn’t yet approved.
A new mayor will also be taking over when Mayor Richard Berry’s term ends at the end of the year.
“I think where everyone has focused now is on the community planning issues that caused the problem in the first place,” McCall said.