Obama budget includes $27 million for Nashville's AMP project - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Obama budget includes $27 million for Nashville's AMP project

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Mayor Karl Dean with a group of AMP supporters Tuesday following the federal funding announcement. Mayor Karl Dean with a group of AMP supporters Tuesday following the federal funding announcement.
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV-AP) -

Mayor Karl Dean said the $27 million in proposed federal funding for the rapid bus transit system in Nashville called AMP puts the project "on track."

President Barack Obama included the funding in his 2015 fiscal budget released Tuesday. It's part of $302 billion allocated to upgrade roads, railroads and mass transit across the country, including the AMP project.

The federal budget is still subject to approval from Congress.

View the U.S. Department of Transportation's proposed budget items - the AMP is listed on Page 12 - by clicking here.

The AMP would connect St. Thomas Hospital in west Nashville to Five Points on the city's east side, and city leaders have put the estimated price tag at about $174 million.

Nashville officials have said previously they will need $75 million in federal transit money to make the project a reality, but Dean said Tuesday because this is a Federal Transit Administration-funded project, the full $75 million the city requested from the federal government will be allocated in portions in later years.

Another $35 million is needed from the state, although some leaders of the Republican-controlled Legislature have said they oppose the project. Metro's share of the AMP would be $59 million.

Opponents say the project is too expensive and will only make traffic along the proposed 7-mile route more congested.

Dean argues Nashville needs an advanced transit system to prepare for future growth and compete with other cities.

"As I said, we will get this right. We will have a project that is good for Nashville, good for this corridor and good for everyone who travels it, whether by foot, by bus or by car," Dean said.

Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell, R-Nashville, has been a vocal opponent to the AMP project. She said Tuesday she is surprised the project got federal funding and that it shouldn't expect state funding.

Copyright 2014 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All right reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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