TDOT Heads Focus Of Tennessee Budget Hearings Wednesday

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) - Despite the IMPROVE Act with its gas tax for Tennessee, funding infrastructure such as new roads is still an issue, says the state's TDOT commissioner.

 

The problem he says is Washington's lack of action on an overall infrastructure bill. 

 

TDOT always has news at Gov. Bill Haslam’s budget hearings about Tennessean's favorite topic--road construction.
 

“They keep talking about funding infrastructure but they keep pushing it back,” says TDOT commissioner John Schroer.
 

When talking about funding Tennessee roads going forward, Schroer points a finger at Washington to help states build new and better roads. This comes despite Tennessee's IMPROVE Act earlier this year, which raised the state's gas and diesel tax for the first time in decades, so that nearly a thousand projects can be built.


The commissioner points also to the campaign promise of President Trump for an infrastructure bill.
 

“I don’t think we have been funding infrastructure in a manner in which we should, and in transportation we have not changed federally since 1993,” says Schroer.

 

The commissioner’s engineers and budget men spoke of a potential problem in a few years. Tennessee could lose $178 million yearly unless Congress acts to restore federal funding.
 

“We are going to look at how we do that, or there is going to be a whole lot of burden on the state by themselves.”
 

That's a wary eye for future funding, but the good news from TDOT is that more than a quarter of those IMPROVE Act projects are underway one now.
 

In December, TDOT says it will award the largest number of contracts in its history because of the IMPROVE Act.

 


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