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FHWA Recovers $9 Million Following Federal Probe of the Memphis Intermodal Transportation Facility (ITF) Project

On August 4, the FHWA's Tennessee Division was reimbursed $9 million by the Tennessee Department of Transportation (T-DOT) as a result of its earlier finding that the federally-funded ITF project was not constructed or operated in accordance with the projects plan. As proposed, the $26.6 million parking garage project (including $20 million in FHWA funds) was supposed to include transportation offices/waiting areas and accommodate passenger transfers between city buses or trolleys and automobiles -- with either free parking or monetary incentives provided for transit passengers. Our investigation and a T-DOT audit disclosed that the 1,700-space parking garage was operated for-profit by a franchise of the NBA Grizzlies team, based on an agreement with the City of Memphis. T-DOT is to reimburse FHWA the remaining $11 million (plus $480,000 in interest) by September 30, 2006.