NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) marked the legislative passage of its new Transportation Modernization Act on Thursday, March 30.
According to a news release, the bill will create a new strategy and invest $3.3 billion to accommodate Tennessee’s record growth, address traffic congestion and meet transportation needs across rural and urban communities. This legislation has received support from dozens of organizations across Tennessee and will now head to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.
“Tennessee needs a transportation strategy fit for the fastest-growing state in the nation, and our plan will prepare rural and urban communities for continued growth and economic opportunity, all without new taxes or debt,” Gov. Bill Lee said. “I commend the General Assembly for its partnership to meet our state’s transportation needs.”
State leaders say the legislation “will give TDOT the resources needed to solve the state’s current and future mobility challenges, including seeking the use of public-private partnerships to preserve state funds for rural infrastructure priorities, exploring Choice Lanes to decrease congestion and increase economic impact statewide, and expanding the alternative delivery model to save taxpayer dollars and deliver road projects more efficiently,” the news release noted.
TDOT Commissioner Butch Eley said the plan “will prepare TDOT with the resources needed to build and maintain roads across our rural and urban communities. We appreciate the support of the legislature and key partners as we pave the way for Tennessee’s continued prosperity.”
The plan received bi-partisan legislative support and was sponsored by Republican Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson, Republican Senate Transportation and Safety Chair Becky Massey, Republican House Majority Leader William Lamberth and Republican House Transportation Chair Dan Howell.
“I am tremendously grateful to Gov. Lee and my colleagues in the Senate and House for confronting our infrastructure challenges head-on,” Lt. Gov. Randy McNally said. “This legislation will have a positive effect on our congestion issues without abandoning our pay-as-you-go funding system or increasing the tax burden on our citizens. How quickly and efficiently people and goods can move across the state is directly related to our economic success. Improved transportation and infrastructure mean more jobs and that’s a good thing for Tennessee.”
House Speaker Cameron Sexton said the new measure will play an important part in beginning to ease congestion on Tennessee’s roadways.
“I appreciate Gov. Lee, Lt. Gov. McNally, the House and Senate for their partnership as we all continue working to address our immediate, emerging and long-term transportation and infrastructure needs,” Sexton said.
Johnson said the plan is something his fellow residents can be proud of.
“It is an innovative and fiscally conservative approach to modernize our transportation infrastructure without raising taxes,” he said. “I appreciate Gov. Lee and Commissioner Eley for their work to put together a solid plan to invest in the future of Tennessee, and I am proud to have been a part of it. I am also grateful to Chairlady Becky Massey for her diligent work to get this proposal across the finish line in the Senate.”
Massey said the state is at “a critical juncture for transportation and infrastructure in Tennessee. The unprecedented growth in our state over recent decades is the direct result of our sound economic policies, high quality of life, and ranking as one of the lowest taxed states in the country. While this yields economic opportunity, it also presents challenges in our ability to move people, goods, and services across our state. The Transportation Modernization Act addresses the state’s growing infrastructure needs in a fiscally conservative way to help improve the lives of all Tennesseans and visitors who travel our roads and ensure Tennessee’s future is prosperous.”
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.