Tennessee Passes $3 Billion Transportation Plan

March 21, 2023
The funding will go to infrastructure projects throughout the state

Tennessee will see a boost in infrastructure funding with $3 billion. On Monday, the Tennessee Senate green lit the transportation plan backed by Governor Bill Lee that will fund infrastructure projects throughout the state.

If passed, the Tennessee Department of Transportation's (TDOT) four regions will receive $750 million to cover infrastructure issues.

The legislation received largely bipartisan votes through the committee process this year, despite criticism from some on how it is being distributed, arguing the equal pots of money should be distributed on a per capita basis to account for higher populations and related congestion issues.

Senators voted 26-5 for the plan.

The House version of the bill, HB 321, could be up for its final committee vote on Tuesday, possibly clearing the way for final passage by the end of the month.

The bill institutes new electric vehicles fees to offset lost gas taxes, to be paid with vehicle registrations, that would start at $200 until 2027 and then rise to $274.

Lee's plan also calls for "public-private partnership" to establish toll lanes, or "choice lanes," that are express lanes that charge drivers usage fees. Senator Becky Massey argued the choice lanes are different than toll roads as a driver will have an option to pay for an express lane or drive on an existing lane for free.

"It is similar to TSA Pre-check or Disney Fast Pass where you can decide if you want to do it or not," Massey said. "Fees are never charged in a general purpose lanes and the number of free lanes are never reduced."


Source: Tennessean.com

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