TDOT Could Lose $900 Million In Funding

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(WREG-TV) The Tennessee Department of Transportation’s budget could be short $900 million due to a funding shortage on the federal level.

The federal Highway Trust Fund has a $15 billion shortfall.

The Tennessean reports the shortage is so severe that without action from Congress, major road projects could be halted.

TDOT has about 400 projects under development, including the I-40/240 flyover currently under construction.

According to The Tennessean, there is an estimated $8 billion in a years-long backlog of road projects.

The move wouldn’t impact the construction project at the I-40/240 interchange because the money has already been approved.

But TDOT Commissioner John Schroer says it would throw out more than a thousand projects around the state and cut jobs, “It is critical for the state and our country for our infrastructure around the country to be maintained and we’re facing a situation where that may not happen.”

The reason for the possible cuts is a $15 billion shortfall to the federal government’s highway trust.

Schroer says the problem is the fund has depended on taxes from gas, and as cars become more fuel-efficient the government gets less money.

Lawmakers are trying to come up with a way to make up for that shortfall and some a proposing increasing the gas tax you pay every time you fill up.

Some are saying that increase could be up to 15 cents per gallon.

As congress scrambles to come up with the money TDOT is presenting two budgets to the state.

One project includes construction like 240 and Airways, the I-69 projects in northern Shelby County, and another budget that basically puts the breaks on road construction because of funding.

As the Mid-South prepares for winter weather this week, TDOT claims cuts would not impact any future winter prep abilities because that money is already allocated.

9 comments

  • Preston Babcock

    $900 million isn’t enough. Let’s make it at least $1 billion. TDOT is good for nothing but turning a 20 minute drive into an hour long commute. Defund TDOT for all I care.

    • Thomas H. Evans

      When was the last time you spoke to “Your” congressman about money for our highways that will never be completed. They have been working on 40 – 240 for the past 14 years with now another five years tacked on to completion. Talk to all the Rich Congressmen, they are the ones causing these problems in an effort to line their pockets even more. I just need a 20 minute drive to become just that, not 45 minutes to an hour because of poor planning by TDOT.

  • t

    They waste so much money..They said a year ago they had no money for I69 and we had them walking around our farm checking ponds and not telling anyone they were her..TRESPASSING.Just wastefull!!!!!! It takes 10 men to pick up one limb..

  • Will

    Believe it or not, Tennessee’s roads are the envy of nearly every state in the country. TDOT is a pay-as-you-go system and has been for many years – one of only a handful to be able to say that and by far the best of those. It’s a big selling point to bring businesses to the state; do you think an auto company like Nissan would’ve relocated their US headquarters to a state like Kentucky?

    And if you think gas prices are high in the US, just hop on over to, oh, any other country in the world for a little dose of reality. Cheap gas is not a right, and if you don’t like it, well, buy one with better gas mileage.

    The solution is to shift the tax to vehicle miles driven instead of per gallon, but I suppose that’s just another way for all those Libs to track you and Bubba while you teabag each other, right?

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