NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) — The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) reveals it takes an average of 15 years to finish a road project.
Both state leaders and TDOT said that the wait time is unacceptable. This comes to the surface as Governor Bill Lee holds budget hearings lasting over a week.
Butch Eley, TDOT’s commissioner had this to say,
We've got a lot of great things going on in Tennessee, and certainly with opportunities come challenges,
We are working to try to narrow down the time as much as possible to deliver projects. 15 years is too long.
Eley said they're looking at the ways they do business, starting with exploring project approaches to be able to move a project along more quickly.
He said they're working closely with the governor’s office as infrastructure is high on his list of priorities.
The transportation commissioner said TDOT’s ultimate goal is to finish projects within five years.
Will Reid, TDOT’s chief engineer said that in the budget hearing they’re talking about how they're prioritizing certain problems and solving them, as time is money.
Unfortunately for us, our projects don't age well. But when they sit on a shelf, they tend to get more expensive
Governor Bill Lee Tweeted recognizing the states rapid growth, he said that he’s working with the department on a strategy to invest in the state’s transportation network.
The state’s transportation commissioner said,
The governor asked me to look at what other states are doing, that have already been where we're headed. And so that's what we've been doing for the last few months.
Eley said the department is looking at new ways to carry out projects.
In January when legislature is back in session, they reportedly have some potential solutions to help the state bring down the 15 year transportation project timeline.
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