Governor and Commissioner Release Transportation Improvement Plan for 2013-2016
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) Commissioner John Schroer today released the three-year transportation program, featuring approximately $1.5 billion in infrastructure investments for 80 individual project phases in 47 counties, as well as 15 statewide programs.
Tennessee is one of only five states that do not borrow money to fund transportation projects, and the program continues TDOT’s “pay as you go” philosophy, carrying no debt for any transportation initiatives.
“This program represents a thoughtful, balanced approach to transportation and focuses on expanding economic development opportunities, improving safety and providing important upgrades to our interstate corridors,” Haslam said. “A quality transportation system is critical to our goal of making Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs as well as the continued growth of the state’s economy.”
The three-year, multimodal program funds several improvements to the interstate system, including the addition of truck climbing lanes, interchange projects and the construction of a three-mile stretch of Interstate 69.
The program also provides funding for improved access in several communities, including the construction of a diverging diamond interchange on I-40 at SR 66 in Sevier County and a new interchange on I-65 at Highway 109 on the Robertson-Sumner County line.
This is the first three-year transportation program developed under the new federal transportation funding bill, MAP-21. The bill modifies how transportation dollars are allotted to Tennessee and has a greater emphasis on high volume roads.
“The shifts in federal funding and the changes to how projects qualify for funding has challenged our ability to deliver as many projects as we would like,” Schroer said. “However, this multimodal program is responsive to the needs of communities across the state and also dedicates important funding to maintaining our infrastructure through our resurfacing and bridge programs.”
The program includes projects to expand TDOT’s Intelligent Transportation System, adding cameras and Dynamic Message Signs on I-24 over Monteagle Mountain and on I-65 north and south of Nashville. TDOT will also fund several projects that represent strong partnerships with local governments, including U.S. 51 (Elvis Presley Boulevard) in Memphis and SR 218 in Henry County.
The program includes dedicated funding for 15 transportation programs including Rockfall Mitigation, Spot Safety Improvement, the statewide HELP Program and new initiative to enhance connections between modes, such as sidewalks and park-and-ride facilities at key locations along state routes. It also provides funding for transit agencies, Metropolitan and Rural Planning Organizations and private non-profit organizations in all 95 counties in Tennessee. TDOT will also administer funding for rehabilitation projects for shortline railways and bridges in several Tennessee counties as well as programs that provide for improvements at the state’s airports.
Please see the attached list of highlighted projects in each of TDOT’s four regions. To view a complete list of projects and programs funded through the 2013-2016 three-year multimodal program visit http://www.tdot.state.tn.us/documents/FY14.pdf.