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VOL. 129 | NO. 136 | Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Tennessee Road Projects Could Face Cuts in August

AP

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FRANKLIN, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee has funding for 13 road-widening projects totaling more than $200 million, including a $15.6 million Shelby County project, waiting on whether Congress refreshes the federal Highway Trust Fund in August.

Without Congressional reauthorization, federal transportation officials will start cutting money sent to state agencies on Aug. 1, which would set off cutbacks in states' road projects.

Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner John Schroer told WBIR-TV in Knoxville (http://on.wbir.com/1ks2UW8) the agency has a list of projects it planned to launch in fiscal year 2014, but has pushed back to 2015 because of concerns about funding.

"While we are keeping our assets in top condition, the backlog of projects to reduce congestion, capitalize on economic opportunities and invest in our future continues to grow," Schroer said.

The 13 projects facing delay are spread across Tennessee and include $15.6 million in construction on State Route 14 (Austin Peay Highway) in Shelby County.

The Highway Trust Fund relies on gasoline taxes. While road construction costs have surged, the gasoline tax rate of 18.3 cents per gallon hasn't changed since its last increase in 1993.

The most immediate impact for Nashville drivers would be felt in the delayed start of the $37 million Interstate 65/State Route 109 interchange in Robertson/Sumner counties. That project was set to be put out for construction bids in July, but that has been delayed.

Other projects facing delay include the $66.4 million construction on Interstate 69 in Obion County and $37.9 million construction of State Route 29 in Roane/Morgan counties.

Information from: WBIR-TV, www.wbir.com

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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