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General Assembly approves $3.3 billion for transportation infrastructure

Legislation that will modernize Tennessee’s infrastructure and address critical transportation needs now heads to Gov. Bill Lee’s desk for his signature. The House on Thursday approved House Bill 321, known as the Transportation Modernization Act, which will invest an unprecedented $3.3 billion to accommodate Tennessee’s record growth, address traffic congestion and meet transportation needs across rural and urban communities.

Gov. Bill Lee earlier this session announced the investment plan as part of his legislative package for the year. Transportation Chairman Dan Howell, R-Ocoee, and Majority Leader William Lamberth, R-Portland, guided passage of the bill through the House in partnership with Lee’s administration and the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT). 

“Our roads are the vital arteries of our communities that connect Tennesseans to their jobs and schools, goods to our businesses, and first responders to the scene in emergencies,” Lamberth said. “This investment addresses challenges like potholes, safety, and long commutes, but more importantly, it creates greater, faster access to more destinations. Our state is well prepared to meet the challenges of tomorrow.” 

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The legislation will give TDOT the resources needed to solve the state’s current and future mobility challenges, including seeking the use of public-private partnerships to preserve state funds for rural infrastructure priorities, exploring Choice Lanes to decrease congestion and increase economic impact statewide, and expanding the alternative delivery model to save taxpayer dollars and deliver road projects more efficiently.

“As Tennessee continues to experience unprecedented growth, investing in our transportation infrastructure is essential to ensuring residents and our economy keep moving forward,” said Howell. “The Transportation Modernization Act will provide historic funding to address congestion in both rural and urban areas of our state. It will also provide innovative solutions to these challenges without the need to raise taxes. I was honored to guide passage of this important piece of legislation in the House, and I appreciate Gov. Lee, TDOT, and my colleagues in the General Assembly for their support of this generational shift in how we address infrastructure in our state.”

The legislation:

  • Provides $750 million for infrastructure for each of the four transportation regions
  • Provides another $300 million to expand the State Aid Program for local road projects
  • Expands TDOT’s existing alternative delivery tools  
  • Establishes a structure for electric/hybrid vehicle fees 

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