Tennessee DOT obligates all — $572 million — highway stimulus funds

TDOT credits partnership with metropolitan planning organizations statewide

NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Department of Transportation has obligated 100% of the $572 million in Highway Infrastructure Investment funds made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act two weeks ahead of the March 1 deadline required under the Act. TDOT received approval of its last project Tuesday on the eve of the one-year anniversary of the Recovery Act. Tennessee is one of the first states to obligated 100% of Recovery Act funds for highway infrastructure.

“I appreciate the work of the Department of Transportation and its local and regional partners in reaching this important milestone for the Recovery Act in Tennessee,” said Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen in a press release. “This accomplishment ensures that all of our Recovery Act dollars for highway infrastructure will stay in Tennessee for needed improvements that will continue to boost local economies.”

According to the Recovery Act, all transportation funds must be obligated by midnight on March 1. States that fail to meet this deadline will lose any unobligated Recovery Act funds.

By obligating all funds ahead of schedule, TDOT is now positioned to secure additional funds not utilized by other states should they become available.

“Tennessee was able to meet this deadline ahead of schedule in large part thanks to strong partnerships with the MPOs across the state,” said TDOT Commissioner Gerald Nicely in a written statement. “Many of Tennessee’s Recovery Act funds are already at work on transportation projects in communities across the state. Without the Recovery Act funds, many of these important projects would not have been built or would have been delayed.”

Tennessee received $572,701,043 in total Recovery Act funds for Highways and Bridges. Of that total, $15.8 million went to the seven small Metropolitan Planning Organizations (Bristol, Clarksville, Cleveland, Jackson, Johnson City, Kingsport, Lakeway/Morristown) and the Rutherford County Urbanized area through the Nashville MPO for use on local projects. Another $69.9 million was provided to the four large urban MPOs (Chattanooga, Knoxville, Memphis, Nashville) for use on local projects. TDOT received $486,877,182 in Recovery Act highway funds for use on TDOT projects.

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Recovery Act funds are being used on more than 412 individual projects in Tennessee. TDOT has completed work on 136 projects to date and has paid out more than $223.4 million in funds. Funds for transportation projects are paid out as work is completed, so Recovery Act funds for transportation will continue to provide jobs and boost the economy for the next two years.

TDOT is highlighting some of the Faces of Recovery in Tennessee. Check TDOT’s Recovery Act web page tomorrow to hear the stories of several Tennesseans working on Recovery Act projects and learn more about TDOT and the Recovery Act at www.tn.gov/tdot/recovery. For more information on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for the state of Tennessee, visit www.recovery.gov.