Governor Bill Haslam and Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) Commissioner John Schroer on Thursday released the three-year transportation program, featuring approximately $1.5 billion in infrastructure investments for 96 individual project phases in 55 counties, as well as 10 statewide programs, including several projects in Hamilton and Bradley Counties.
TDOT is one of only five state DOT’s that does not borrow money to fund projects, and the program continues TDOT’s “pay as you go” philosophy, carrying no debt for any transportation initiatives.
“This program balances transportation needs across Tennessee, focusing on improvements to strategic corridors, maximizing economic development opportunities, and providing key safety improvements,” said Governor Haslam. “A quality transportation system is vital to our goal of making Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs and the continued growth of the state’s economy.”
The three-year multimodal program funds improvements to the interstate system, including the addition of truck climbing lanes, ramp enhancements, and interchange reconstruction projects.
“We have worked diligently to develop a multimodal program that maximizes the dollars available to Tennessee and provides positive improvements in our urban and rural areas,” TDOT Commissioner John Schroer said. “We are also continuing efforts to improve safety, reduce congestion, and provide access to communities.”
The program includes dedicated funding for 10 transportation programs including Rockfall Mitigation, Spot Safety Improvement, and the statewide HELP Program. 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.
Chairman of House Transportation, Rep. Phillip Johnson (R-Pegram) helped usher the plan through the intricate road-building budget process, after visiting the site at the invitation of Rep. Brooks.
Rep. Kevin Brooks, (R-Cleveland), following Thursday’s announcement, said, "We are thrilled to finally see the entire construction plan as fully funded for this important project in our community. Many of us have waited many years to see this become a reality. The work on this project began long before I was sent to Nashville, and I have worked diligently to keep it on the forefront for funding.”
Rep. Brooks continued, “Our local residents and businesses have long sought traffic solutions to the growing south end of our great County. Today’s announcement insures the future of this vital business corridor into our community. This news brings new jobs, more resources and better infrastructure for a safer and more secure future.”
House Transportation Chairman Rep. Phillip Johnson said, “This is a great announcement for Cleveland and Bradley County. Your delegation, led by Rep. Kevin Brooks, kept Exit 20 on the minds of our entire committee, this entire session. After a visit to see your project this year, it was made clear to me just how critically important this project is to your citizens. We are proud to partner with Cleveland and with Rep. Brooks to make the Exit 20 Interchange into a reality. I’d also like to thank Governor Bill Haslam and TDOT Commissioner John Schroer for their strong support the project received from the State of Tennessee.”
Senator Mike Bell (R-Riceville) also commented on the announcement saying, “This is great news for Bradley County and we are thankful for the Governor’s support of our region. We have so many wonderful new jobs headed to Bradley County, and this will greatly assist getting industry to town.”
To view a complete list of projects and programs funded through the 2012-2015 three-year multimodal program visit http://www.tn.gov/tdot/documents/TDOT3yrPlan.pdf