Compromise bill does not stop AMP - WKRN News 2

Compromise bill does not stop AMP

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -

In the hours before adjourning, state lawmakers approved a compromise bill that would not kill Nashville's controversial rapid bus transit system called the AMP.

The compromise bill did include language that gave the lawmakers a final say so over the project even if it does not include state money.

Nashville Mayor Karl Dean has proposed that the AMP go from the Five Points area in East Nashville through downtown and ending in the St. Thomas area of west Nashville.

He has recently established a Citizens Advisory group that will offer input on the controversial design and route.

"If it's going to be on a state highway, state right of way, we are charged as legislators as being involved with that project," said Senate sponsor Jim Tracy.

He acknowledged that part of the compromise was removing a ban on transit projects where people would load and unload on a center lane like it has been proposed with the AMP.  

Instead, Sen. Tracy touted tightening up legislative control over such projects.

He said the Tennessee Department of Transportation will have to "put it on a three-year plan. And when you put it on a three-year plan it has to go through the process of being approved in the budget."

The Senator said if there are projects that try to go around such three-year plans, it would have to be approved by the two speakers, two finance chairs and two transportation's of both the House and Senate.

House sponsor Jeremy Rep. Durham helped broker the deal.

He told News 2, "You really don't want a very large mass transit project shutting down a lane without some type of state input, however simply saying that is illegal is the best course of action."

Mayor Karl Dean, who proposed the project last spring issued a statement that said, "The new bill allows us to keep moving forward with the Amp, and that is what we're going to do."

He has recently established a Citizens Advisory group that will offer input on the controversial design and route.

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