Infrastructure & Environment

Facing Federal Funding Cutbacks, Tennessee Halts Road Projects

July 31, 2014

Facing cuts of more than $850 million for Tennessee highway and infrastructure improvements, state and local leaders are bracing for potentially catastrophic economic effects that could put at least 1,000 jobs at risk and slow the state's economy.

Unless Congress intervenes with money to refresh the soon-to-be depleted Highway Trust Fund, federal transportation leaders will shut off funding to state agencies by Aug. 1, triggering cutbacks across the nation.

While the House on Tuesday voted in favor of a short-term measure that would contribute about $11 billion to the Highway Trust Fund, Senate leaders have yet to vote for the funding measure.

Ahead of potential cutbacks, Tennessee transportation officials have shelved the start of 13 road projects totaling more than $200 million from fiscal year 2014 until 2015.

Those 13 projects would be just the start of cutbacks if TDOT's budget drops from $1.8 billion to about $900 million because its federal funding is cut.

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