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Houston back on track?

The court case which forced Houston to postpone their light rail groundbreaking ceremony in January was settled in the Metropolitan Transit Authority's favour on 8 March. The State Court of Appeal decided by 3-0 in favour of the MTA's right to start construction work on Houston's streets, rejecting opponents arguments that a 1100-signature petition obliged the city to hold a referendum before giving the MTA permission to start building. The MTA will now award contracts that were put on hold when a lower court issued an injunction preventing the start of construction. However, it is understood that an appeal has been lodged which is due to be heard today.

12 March 2001

The ground breaking ceremony went ahead as planned on Tuesday after a further attempt to block it was defeated. Prior to the ceremony a special Metro board meeting approved a resolution that any future rail extensions would be submitted for voter approval. The board also authorized Siemens Transportation Systems Inc. to supply rail cars and the power system as well as contracts to several firms for track and station construction.

14 March 2001

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