Transportation Improvement Plan For 2015-2017

Conservative Program Reflects Federal Funding Uncertainty

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner John Schroer Thursday released the three-year transportation program, featuring approximately $1.5 billion in infrastructure investments for 59 individual project phases in 41 counties, as well as 14 statewide programs.

Due to the uncertainty of the future of the Federal Highway Trust Fund, TDOT has taken a conservative approach to this building program, said officials. The program does not feature early engineering work on any new projects. TDOT is continuing its “pay-as-you-go” philosophy and remains one of only four states in the nation to carry no debt for any transportation initiatives. Tennessee’s transportation system has also been recognized as one of the best in the nation. 

“Despite the funding challenges facing transportation agencies, this program represents TDOT’s commitment to building and maintaining one of the best transportation systems in the nation,” Governor Haslam said. “Improving safety, relieving congestion, and expanding economic opportunities remain top priorities and will help us reach our goal of making Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs.” 

The three-year, multimodal program places a priority on maintaining the condition of pavement and bridges. TDOT will invest over $600 million in resurfacing and bridge repair and replacement projects over the next three years. The program also funds several improvements to the interstate system, including the addition of truck climbing lanes, interchange projects, and capacity expansion on several major state routes.

The program also provides funding for improved access in several communities, including the construction of new interchanges on I-40 at Mine Lick Creek Road in Putnam County and I-640 at North Broadway in Knox County. 

TDOT receives approximately half of its funding from the Federal Highway Trust Fund. If new transportation funding legislation is not passed by Congress in the coming months, the fund will run out of money by Sept. 30.

“We are at a critical point in federal transportation funding and without action, there will be major impacts to TDOT programs,” Commissioner Schroer said. “We would be forced to develop an alternate program that reflects the loss of federal dollars, and focuses exclusively on the maintenance of our existing pavement and bridges rather than new projects.”

The program includes dedicated funding for 14 transportation programs including Rockfall Mitigation, Spot Safety Improvement, the statewide HELP Program and the second year of the State Route Multimodal Access Initiative, which enhances connections between modes, such as sidewalks and park-and-ride facilities at key locations along state routes. The program also provides funding for transit agencies, Metropolitan and Rural Planning Organizations and private non-profit organizations in all 95 counties in Tennessee. 

To view a complete list of projects and programs funded through the 2015-2017 three-year multimodal program visit

Click here for the TDOT fact sheet.

Weekly Road Construction Report

Here is the weekly road construction report for Hamilton County: U.S. 27 (SR-29) reconstruction project from Manufacturers Road (Olgiati Bridge over the Tennessee River) to U.S. 127 (SR-8, Signal Mountain Road/Boulevard):  Weather permitting, the contractor may have lane closures throughout the project area on weeknights to perform road work.  They will also be working ... (click for more)

MLK Blvd. And Market Street Closed Friday For Nightfall

ML King Boulevard between Broad Street and Georgia Avenue and Market Street between East 8th Street and East 10th Street will be closed from 5:30 p.m. to midnight on Friday, for the Nightfall Concert Series.  The 800 block of Cherry Street will be closed at ML King Boulevard and will only be accessible from East 8th Street. There will be limited handicapped parking ... (click for more)

County Commission Chairmanship Up For Grabs After Exit Of Henry, Skillern

The chairmanship of the County Commission is up for grabs after the exit of two commissioners who have held the post in recent years. Larry Henry is moving on to serve as Circuit Court clerk. Fred Skillern was upset by Randy Fairbanks in the Republican primary. Most of the returning commissioners have their eye on the possibility of taking over as chairman, or at least getting ... (click for more)

PAST Act On Horse Abuse Stalls Out In U.S. House Despite 70% Support

Rep. Ed Whitfield (KY-01), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power, issued the following statement today regarding the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, H.R. 1518:   “I regret to inform you that Speaker of the House, John Boehner, currently refuses  to bring the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act to the floor for a vote.  His decision ... (click for more)

Curtis Adams: Beck, Mackey Should Be Considered For County Commission Leadership

Just think about this;  a person highly qualified applying for a job.  As he is just about finished filling out his papers for his interview, he sees at the bottom there is a place for him to check Democrat or Republican.  He would think, “if I mark the wrong one I may not get the job.” Being a real leader requires honesty, integrity, and, most importantly, fairness. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Orchids And Onions

With record low temperatures being recorded around the South, I didn’t know what I’d find in my garden on the first day of August but – sure enough -- there is a profusion of orchids and onions. The start of college football will be later this month and, with the chilly mornings, fall practice is a far cry from what it will be when the sweltering heat comes back next week. Here’s ... (click for more)