Tennessee group urges state to address infrastructure 'crisis'

The Tennessee Infrastructure Alliance (TIA) said on Wednesday that the state is facing a growing problem of needed infrastructure projects piling up that lack funding.

Some analysts have estimated that $6 billion to $8 billion would be needed to begin tackling some of the road projects across the state. Tennessee's infrastructure projects are supported by state fuel taxes that have not been adjusted since 1989.

“Tennessee’s transportation system is now in crisis,” Susie Alcorn, executive director of the TIA, said. “At a time when our state is growing – in terms of population and economy – we no longer have the ability to create and maintain a transportation infrastructure to support it.”

Some of the projects that the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) has deemed priorities include I-40 improvements and the relocation of access ramps at the SR 255 marker, a widening project on US 41A that aims to improve the roadway between Briley Parkway and 12th Street, and the widening and improvement project on SR96 between Arno Road in Franklin and Overall Creek in Murfreesboro. These three projects are among many others and have a total cost estimation of $152 million.

“Safe roads and bridges are a key factor in overall highway traffic safety,” Tim Wright, with Auto Club Group/AAA Tennessee, said. “These are the roads that we travel on every day to go to work, to take our children to school or to run basic errands. We need to maintain these roads and bridges in a safe condition, and we’ve got to have additional funding to do that.”

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Tennessee Department of Transportation

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