TDOT Chief Engineer Paul Degges updates Transportation Committee on progress being made on Tennessee Roads

Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) Chief Engineer Paul Degges gave Senate Transportation Committee members an update this week regarding the status of projects underway as a result of the Improving Manufacturing, Public Roads, and Opportunities for a Vibrant Economy (IMPROVE) Act passed in 2017.  The Act identified 962 road and bridge projects across all 95 Tennessee counties over the next 14 years to alleviate a $10.5 billion backlog.  Degges said to date, activities have been initiated on 429 of them, improving 880 miles of Tennessee roads.  Twenty-eight of the projects have been completed.

One of the key components of the IMPROVE Act was to repair and replace unsafe bridges in Tennessee.  TDOT found 526 bridges in the state were structurally deficient.  Twenty of them were closed to traffic, 181 were posted with weight restrictions prohibiting fire trucks, and 161 were not rated for any class of school buses.   Projects are currently underway on 100 of these bridges. 

“We are fortunate that the General Assembly has made it clear to us and our customers that taking care of bridges and pavement has been a priority,” Degges added.

TDOT has also assisted counties in funding important projects through its State Aid Road Grant Program.  The program makes it easier for counties to access needed state funds to upgrade, repair and improve local roads.    The Department of Transportation has beefed up their oversight of the program to ensure road money is being properly spent and that the projects are being constructed as quickly as possible.  The Department has made efforts to make these projects more transparent to the public with their SPOT (Statewide Project Overview Tracker) website which provides an interactive tool allowing citizens to navigate priority projects across the State of Tennessee.

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