Chattanooga Area Committed, But Unfunded, Road Projects Identified During Tracy Hearing

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Bill Moore, chairman of the Tennessee Infrastructure Alliance and former chief engineer for the Tennessee Department of Transportation, on Wednesday highlighted several committed but unfunded road projects in the Chattanooga area.

He said they are "projects that cannot be carried out due to the state’s funding dilemma surrounding transportation infrastructure."

They include:

$70 million for improving the I-75/I-24 intersection

$46.2 million for I-24 interchange improvements at Market Street and Broad Street

$60.2 million to widen and improve a 4.1-mile section of Apison Pike from Ooltewah-Ringgold Road to East Brainerd Road

$63.1 million to widen and improve a 4.8-mile section of Bonny Oaks Drive from SR 17 to I-75

$70.1 million to widen and improve an 8-mile section of Highway 30 in Rhea County from Highway 27 in Dayton to the Tennessee River

$13.8 million to widen and improve a 3.2-mile section of Highway 60 in Bradley County from north of I-75 west of Cleveland to SR 306 west of Cleveland.

Mr. Moore’s presentation was part of a hearing hosted by Senate Transportation and Safety Committee Chairman Jim Tracy, R-Shelbyville, to discuss Tennessee’s roads and transportation needs. Senator Tracy will host a total of nine such hearings across the state "in an effort to get input from a wide variety of residents and community leaders on transportation infrastructure needs and possible funding solutions."

Mr. Moore said, “The Chattanooga area is experiencing rapid growth in terms of population and economy. The committed but unfunded projects highlighted today are important, and would go a long way toward helping the quality of life for residents and businesses alike. Our state faces a funding dilemma, and it will take all of us working together to solve it.”

“The Transportation Coalition of Tennessee applauds Sen. Jim Tracy for bringing attention to our state’s transportation infrastructure dilemma,” said Susie Alcorn, executive director of the Tennessee Infrastructure Alliance. “Our state leaders must determine how we will pay for the very real infrastructure needs of our state’s cities and counties. The future prosperity of Tennessee depends on it. I thank Senator Tracy for his leadership on this important issue.”

Officials said, "State and local transportation projects in Tennessee are funded primarily by state and federal fuel-tax revenues. These projects include maintenance, repair and new construction. Tennessee’s fuel taxes have not changed since 1989, yet the state’s population has increased 14 percent since 2000, bringing more traffic to roads and highways. Transportation experts estimate it would take an additional $6 billion to $8 billion to begin to seriously address some of the committed but unfunded road projects across Tennessee.

"The Transportation Coalition of Tennessee has posted a new, interactive Web page showing nearly 400 unfunded state road/highway projects. The Web page is part of the coalition’s ongoing education initiative to highlight transportation infrastructure funding problems."

The link to the Web page is http://www.tcoftn.org/unfunded-projects.html.

Senator Tracy will host one additional meeting in Kingsport on Thursday at 10 a.m. at the Kingsport Center for Higher Education, 300 West Market St.



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