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.

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