Tennessee– Tennessee hopes to start work by summer on an estimated $70 million project aimed at easing the Chattanooga traffic bottleneck at the intersection of interstates 24 and 75. That is anticipated to take 3 years. Funding is coming from the Improving Manufacturing, Public Roads and Opportunities for a Vibrant Economy (IMPROVE) Act, introduced in January to help fund the state’s $10 billion backlog in road projects. The Act raised fuel taxes for the first time in nearly 30 years.
The I-24/I-75 project is one of 23 projects in Hamilton County estimated to cost a total of $600 million. Despite the influx of money from the IMPROVE Act, funding is still a big concern for many of these projects being completed. Tennessee officials are concerned the state could lose $178 million annually in several years unless Congress addresses expected shortfalls of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, the last federal funding bill that passed. Of the 962 total state projects envisioned under Tennessee’s IMPROVE Act, 288 are now underway, 20 are in the construction phases and 10 bridge projects have already been completed.