TN General Assembly passes landmark transportation bill
Published 11:30 am Friday, March 31, 2023
The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) this week marked the legislative passage of the Lee administration’s Transportation Modernization Act, a landmark bill that will create a new strategy and invest $3.3 billion to accommodate Tennessee’s record growth, address traffic congestion and meet transportation needs across rural and urban communities. This historic legislation has received support from dozens of organizations across Tennessee and will now head to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law.
“Tennessee needs a transportation strategy fit for the fastest-growing state in the nation, and our plan will prepare rural and urban communities for continued growth and economic opportunity, all without new taxes or debt,” said Governor Bill Lee. “I commend the General Assembly for its partnership to meet our state’s transportation needs.”
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.
“Tennessee’s strategic transportation plan will prepare TDOT with the resources needed to build and maintain roads across our rural and urban communities,” said TDOT Commissioner Butch Eley. “We appreciate the support of the legislature and key partners as we pave the way for Tennessee’s continued prosperity.”
The plan received bi-partisan legislative support and was sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson (R – Franklin), Senate Transportation & Safety Chair Becky Massey (R – Knoxville), House Majority Leader William Lamberth (R – Portland), and House Transportation Chair Dan Howell (R – Cleveland).
“I am tremendously grateful to Governor Lee and my colleagues in the Senate and House for confronting our infrastructure challenges head-on,” said Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally. “This legislation will have a positive effect on our congestion issues without abandoning our pay-as-you-go funding system or increasing the tax burden on our citizens. How quickly and efficiently people and goods can move across the state is directly related to our economic success. Improved transportation and infrastructure mean more jobs and that’s a good thing for Tennessee.”
“The Transportation Modernization Act will play an important part in beginning to ease congestion on our roadways,” said House Speaker Cameron Sexton. “I appreciate Gov. Lee, Lt. Gov. McNally, the House, and Senate for their partnership as we all continue working to address our immediate, emerging, and long-term transportation and infrastructure needs.”