No Funding for 181 Tennessee Infrastructure Projects

CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF-TV) – What’s the biggest traffic bottleneck in Hamilton county?
If you said the I-24/75 split you’re right on target.
But there are dozens of other projects on the county wish-list, and they all have one thing in common.
There’s no money to pay for them.
Governor Bill Haslam brought that message to Chattanooga on Monday.

Governor Bill Haslam and TDOT commissioner John Schroer are traveling the state to talk about the condition of our highways and bridges. Right now they’re in pretty good shape—but not for long.

GOV. BILL HASLAM, (R) TENNESSEE "This is a critical discussion that needs to happen in Tennessee . We’re committed to getting it right ..to having this discussion all around the state so we can understand just what is it that community needs and wants and then how long are we willing to wait for that."

It takes years of planning and allocating of funds for every TDOT project.
Some have become critical situations—and they are not even on anybody’s list.

JOHN SCHROER, TDOT COMMISSIONER "We can’t even start talking about working on a project project like I-75/24 until 2022 or 2024. It’a big project..its critical for this section of Hamilton county and this part of the state ..its a 65-70 million dollar project."

The state has 2 lists—one of 181 backlogged projects that will not be completed or at least under contract until 2034, and a list of 765 new project needs that cannot be considered until 2022 at the earliest.

JOHN SCHROER, TDOT COMMISSIONER "The average Chattanoogan spent 28 hours in their car in the last year..just sitting, burning fuel and burning time."

It cost you about 730 dollars a year by the way.
But funding from trucks and others who use the highways has been down for some time.

MAYOR JIM COPPINGER, HAMILTON COUNTY "You’re seeing a flattening of the gasoline tax ….where there’s not been any increase but yet we’re continuing to watch the cost of maintenance and labor to increase on our roads here."

GOV. HASLAM "Let’s talk about what we want to do in the win..and then we’ll talk about how we’re going to do it."

Congress has not passed a long-term transportation funding bill in 10 years.
And officials say Tennessee’s population will grow by 2 million by 2040, and that puts a greater demand on the state’s infrastructure.

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