State Worried About Drop in Federal Transportation Funding
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) — The State of Tennessee has released a surprisingly lean three-year, $1.5 billion transportation program.
The Haslam administration says the plan takes a conservative approach because of uncertainty over future federal transportation funding. The budget contains no money to pay for new project engineering studies.
About half of Tennessee’s transportation budget comes from the state's tax on gasoline. The rest comes from the federal government and TDOT spokesperson B.J. Doughty says new appropriations may be significantly lower than in previous years.
“There’s a chance that they may say, ‘You know, we’re just going to take the gas tax revenue that we’re getting from all the states and we’re going to operate just on that.’ You see, for a number of years they’ve been spending more than what was being collected.”
Doughty says the current appropriation will run out in September.
The new plan covers the period between 2015 and 2017 and includes $600 million to maintain, replace or repair roads and bridges around the state.