- Associated Press - Friday, December 26, 2014

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - State spending figures show Memphis has gotten more funding for transportation projects over the last four years than Nashville.

The Commercial Appeal (http://bit.ly/1CMfGvH) reports the Tennessee Department of Transportation has obligated $664 million in Shelby County in that time period compared to $347 million that’s been committed in Davidson County.

TDOT spokeswoman Nichole Lawrence said the agency seeks to be fair to all areas of the state.

“We try to look at all regions and see where the need is,” she said.

In the past, there were complaints that Nashville got a larger portion of transportation funds.

Greater Memphis Chamber official Dexter Muller credited Gov. Bill Haslam, who promised Memphis residents during his 2010 campaign that they would no longer feel neglected, noting his wife, Crissy, grew up in the Bluff City.

Muller said transportation improvements in Memphis benefit the entire state.

“We’re a huge freight center, and to move the state forward you do have to invest in Memphis,” he said.

Metropolitan Planning Organization administrator Pragati Srivastava said the Memphis area has benefited from increased construction work, but highway projects everywhere will languish if Congress doesn’t agree on a way to shore up the nation’s highway trust fund.

“The issue is at the federal level,” Srivastava said. “The lack of long-term funding is really affecting projects in the state.”

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Information from: The Commercial Appeal, http://www.commercialappeal.com

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