Tennessee delays $400 million worth of road projects

John SchroerJohn Schroer

The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) has delayed $400 million in road projects until fiscal 2016 due to the uncertainty over future federal funding.

In a letter to state lawmakers, John Schroer, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Transportation, said the 12 construction projects and 21 right-of-way acquisitions were supposed to be finished in fiscal 2015, which ends on Sept. 30 next year.

“While these projects are only delayed and not canceled, they represent almost $400 million in transportation investments that could be helping to modernize our transportation network and reducing congestion and making Tennessee a more attractive destination for economic expansion,” Schroer wrote.

In the letter Schroer asked state legislators to lobby the Tennessee congressional delegation for a long-term federal transportation bill. Federal money makes up close to half of TDOT’s annual budget, and it pays for more than 90 percent of the work designed to expand capacity.

“The instability in the flow of these dollars is certainly having an impact on Tennesseans today,” he said.

Tennessee is not alone in its fight for a long-term federal transportation bill. Back in July Better Roads put together a list of 10 states in dire need of a highway trust fund solution.