- Associated Press - Thursday, October 30, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The uncertainty of federal funding has led Tennessee’s highway director to delay road projects worth $400 million.

The Tennessean (https://tnne.ws/1nSIWLq) reports 12 construction projects and 21 right of way acquisitions were supposed to be complete by Sept. 30, 2015; now they will have to wait until fiscal year 2016.

Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner John Schroer sent lawmakers a letter on Friday to notify them of the change.

Schroer says while Congress has approved enough funding to continue road projects through May, it hasn’t completed a full six-year highway bill. He says state transportation officials rely on the bill for revenue for long-term projects.

The 33 stalled projects include an Interstate 55 interchange in Shelby County and a truck climbing lane on I-40 east in Dickson and Williamson counties.

“While these projects are only delayed and not canceled, they represent almost $400 million in transportation investments that could be helping to modernize our transportation network and reducing congestion and making Tennessee a more attractive destination for economic expansion,” Schroer wrote in the letter.

He asked state lawmakers to lobby the Tennessee congressional delegation to approve a long-term transportation bill.

About half of TDOT’s annual budget comes from federal funding, which pays for a majority of the work designed to expand capacity.

“The instability in the flow of these dollars is certainly having an impact on Tennesseans today,” he said.

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Information from: The Tennessean, https://www.tennessean.com

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