choice lanes

Lee wraps up tour touting new roads plan

(Image credit: State of Tennessee)

Gov. Bill Lee has wrapped his statewide tour to tout the new $3.3 billion Transportation Modernization Act. The governor says the new law will accelerate construction and alleviate congestion.

Here’s the release from the governor’s office:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – This week, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee concluded his statewide “Build with Us Tour”, which celebrated the landmark Transportation Modernization Act and highlighted seven key infrastructure priorities across rural and urban Tennessee.

“As Tennessee continues to lead the nation with record growth, the Transportation Modernization Act will prepare our state for long term economic success and expand opportunity in rural and urban communities, all without new taxes or debt,” said Gov. Lee. “I’m grateful to members of the General Assembly for their partnership in making these historic transportation investments, and I want to thank Commissioner Eley and the entire team at TDOT for their hard work to make life better for Tennesseans in every corner of the state.”

Gov. Lee kicked off the “Build With Us” Tour on June 1 in Fentress County, traveling across each Grand Division throughout June and July. Tour stops included:

— Fentress County: Cumberland/Fentress SR-28
— Shelby County: I-55/Crump Interchange
— Madison County: I-40 Widening (US-412/SR-20 to SR-186/US-45)
— Davidson County: I-40/Donelson Pike Interchange
— Washington County: SR-34/Precision Blvd (Washington County Industrial Park)
— Knox County: Alcoa Highway Corridor
— Hamilton County: Apison Pike (I-75/East Brainerd Road)

Gov. Lee introduced the Transportation Modernization Act this year and signed it into law on April 17, following successful bipartisan passage in the Tennessee General Assembly. The plan creates a new transportation strategy and will invest an additional $3.3 billion to accommodate Tennessee’s record growth, address traffic congestion and meet transportation needs across rural and urban communities.

The strategy will give the Tennessee Department of Transportation (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.

“The Transportation Modernization Act will address critical infrastructure needs across rural and urban Tennessee, preparing our state for the future,” said Deputy Governor and TDOT Commissioner Butch Eley. “I commend the Governor and General Assembly for their leadership to prepare our state for continued economic growth and prosperity.”

13 chambers endorse Lee’s roads plan

Thirteen chambers of commerce from around the state are endorsing Gov. Bill Lee’s $3.3 billion roads plan, including its public-private partnerships and paid express lanes.

The chambers represent businesses in and around Nashville, Blount County, Bristol, Jackson, Kingsport, Knoxville, Memphis, Lawrence County, Clarksville, Williamson County, Rutherford County, Chattanooga and Maury County.

Here’s the release:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. –Chambers of Commerce from across Tennessee announced Monday their support of Governor Bill Lee’s Transportation Modernization Act of 2023. The proposed statewide infrastructure plan would approve public-private partnerships to rapidly expand infrastructure development and relieve congestion in the state’s rapidly growing urban and rural communities.

“As prosperity continues to expand, infrastructure investment becomes crucial to livability,” said Ralph Schulz, President and CEO of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. “The Governor’s proposal creates investment without debt or new taxes while fostering faster project completion, faster travel times for all drivers, and modern transportation options for all citizens.”

“As Tennessee continues to attract record-breaking investment, we must ensure our infrastructure is modern and resilient enough to match our growth. Chambers of Commerce across the state support Governor Bill Lee’s Transportation Modernization Act to ensure we continue to build on our state’s record-breaking growth,” said Charles Wood, President and CEO of the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce. “Our state’s sound economic policies and high quality of life have made Tennessee the seventh-fastest growing state in the country, and the Governor’s innovative transportation modernization plan accommodates for our state’s rapid growth.”

“Tennessee has seen a population increase of nearly 9% in the past decade, with a net gain of 137,100 jobs year-over-year,” said Paul Latture, President of the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce. “The business community depends on reliable transportation systems to ensure that citizens, freight, and visitors aren’t sitting in avoidable congestion. The Transportation Modernization Act tackles the transportation issues of today while accounting for future growth across our state.”

“Under the proposed Transportation Modernization Act, public-private partnerships allow the business community to take a proactive role in tackling our community’s most pressing transportation needs,” said Kyle Spurgeon, CEO of the Greater Jackson Chamber of Commerce. “This legislation fixes roads and expands exits in rural communities, while also making it easier for our citizens to work and shop in urban metros without losing hours in preventable congestions.”

“Governor Lee’s proposed Transportation Modernization Act ensures that businesses and residents alike maintain adequate access to key markets,” said Ryan Egly, President & CEO of the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce. “These public-private partnerships are good for Tennesseans and especially essential for sustaining economic development in rural Tennessee.”

“Chambers of Commerce have a long-standing support of public-private partnerships, and we look forward to the positive effects that Governor Lee’s plan will have on the alleviation of road congestion and safety in our state’s rural and urban areas,” said Wil Evans, President of the Maury County Chamber and Economic Alliance. “This legislation connects communities previously separated by unnecessary congestion, expanding economic access and increasing quality of life for rural citizens.”

“The Transportation Modernization Act is providing historic investments in our region’s roadways to build more exits in rural communities, ease traffic congestion, and make our infrastructure safer and stronger for generations to come,” said Miles Burdine, President and CEO of the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce. “Thank you to Governor Lee and the state for ensuring that our region has the infrastructure it needs to continue to support business growth and creation.”

The Transportation Modernization Act of 2023 was announced by Governor Bill Lee on January 5, 2023.


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