The Regional Transportation Authority has hired Parsons Brinckerhoff to look at how the transit options connecting Nashville to Clarksville could be improved. Among the options is a commuter rail line that would use existing tracks. Emily Luxen at NewsChannel 5 has more info.
Nashville-based Rogers Group Inc. has won a $44 million contract to thoroughly upgrade both directions of a 12-mile stretch of Interstate 85 in South Carolina. The road in questions connects Greenville and Spartanburg and runs right next to BMW's factory and the region's airport.
Pump distirbutor Tencarva Machinery has broken ground on its new Nashville home, a 23,000-square-foot building on Kraft Drive that will bring together its local office and the Southern Sales division. North Carolina-based Tencarva employs 29 people across those two units. Its new area building was designed by Southeast Venture and is being built by Crain Construction. Vice President Don Wirth said the building should be complete around March 1. Check out the company's release here.
Business Internet provider tw telecom has beefed up its local network by adding fiber between downtown and the district on the west side of the Nashville International Airport. The company, which counts BMI and Healthcare Realty Trust among its local clients, also is planning a move into five other cities from Philadelphia to Salt Lake City.
A North Carolina company that distributes more than 75,000 items used in the construction and maintenance of underground water, sewer and storm systems has opened a Nashville office. The local outpost, the 32nd for Fortiline Waterworks, will service Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky.
Researchers at Bloomberg have tallied states' annual cost per person to repair and maintain roads, drinking water systems and airports between last year and 2017. Tennessee comes in a respectable 38th with a total per capita tab of $164. Check out the full number set here.
Steven Hale details what went wrongish for the Amp on Capitol Hill. The short answer is, "Plenty," and much of it has been the result of the Dean administration being caught flat-footed. As to where things go from here...
The legislative fight over The Amp has stirred up a volatile set of political dynamics that could be factors in this and other issues going forward. For instance: What effect, if any, does the open gubernatorial race in 2018 have on issues that pit Democrat Karl Dean against Republican Beth Harwell? That's a juicy what-if. But at present, there's a more pressing issue, according to insiders and a good set of eyes: the frosty relationship between Dean and Davidson County's state legislators, exacerbated by the mayor's inability, or unwillingness, to cultivate Tennessee lawmakers on pivotal city issues.
Via Pith, a compromise has taken banning center lanes off of the table, but Mayor Karl Dean's signature bus rapid transit project will still need approval from the General Assembly if it has any form of dedicated lane.
As for the final legislation pertaining to The Amp, Turner said it's bad, but better than the original Senate language that would have effectively killed the project as it's currently proposed.
"I'm not comfortable with the deal, no, because I think we're stepping in — we've set a precedent here," he said. "And I think it's going to get very burdensome for the state to have to do this if we starting having to approve individual projects across the state like that. It's worked fine the way we do it. They say this is a new type of project, of course that's not what this is about, this is a political thing. This is the best thing for Metro Nashville, best thing we could've done. It's the compromise we ended up with."
Mike Schatzlein, president and CEO of Saint Thomas Health Services and chair of the Amp Coalition, had the following to say this afternoon:
“We are satisfied with the outcome in the General Assembly today. This bill clearly defines approval levels of local and state participation in the transit project process. We look forward to our continued involvement in planning for Middle Tennessee’s urgent and growing transit needs. The Amp Coalition will stay committed to educating the community and region about the benefits of The Amp as the first step in a Middle Tennessee transit strategy.”
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