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News R&B July 05, 2002
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A partial shutdown of the Tennessee state government caused work to stop on all of the state’s 500 road projects in the first week of July. Some private contractors were forced to lay off employees for at least a few days, the Cleveland (Tenn.) Daily Banner reported.

The Tennessee legislature struggled trying to reach agreement through the session that started in January. After the lawmakers reached a July 3 compromise budget for the fiscal year that starting July 1, most road work was allowed to resume today.

Contractors on Interstate construction jobs were asked to take the day off because of the holiday.

The legislature had passed a five-day bill to continue essential services, but road construction was not considered essential. Out of 4,610 employees at the Tennessee DOT, only 67 worked during the first three days of the week.

There are an estimated 24,000 construction jobs in the state.

The work stoppage affected about half the state’s work force, 22,000 employees.

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