The Franklin Board of Mayor and Aldermen on Jan. 26 passed a resolution of support for “enhanced, sustainable funding for transportation needs for the State of Tennessee and for local communities.”
The issue was brought forth by Mayor Ken Moore, who told the aldermen and audience he sits on no fewer than eight boards or committees currently discussing transportation solutions for the region’s growing problem.
He invited former Franklin Mayor and current Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner John Schroer to speak to the aldermen during a work session.
“At the end of the day, there has to be increased funding for transportation,” Schroer said, according to a quote from Franklin Home Page. “It’s a tough subject these days. We are trying to show everyone the needs across the state. I think people need to be aware that road projects cost money, and we have to find a way to fund these things. We are just now trying to educate everybody.”
The resolution approved unanimously by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen specifically asks Gov. Bill Haslam and the General Assembly to “take action regarding transportation funding that incorporates the following key components:
- Identify additional, ongoing State funding for transportation needs that incorporates a
mechanism to keep pace with future inflation.
- Ensure that the Tennessee Department of Transportation continues to have the
discretion to select transportation projects working collaboratively with local
- Allow for a local option for dedicated revenue to fund local transportation and transit
According to Schroer, there are $6.1 billion in backlogged projects across 62 counties. In Williamson, there are seven. If TDOT did nothing but work on backlogged projects, they wouldn’t be completed until 2034.
The state would have to spend $5.3 billion for the new project needs, which include state routes and local bridges. Together these projects span across 59 counties, and Williamson County has 16 of those needs. Between backlogged and new, Williamson County would need $457 million to complete road and bridge projects.
“I can’t solve half of Williamson County’s problems with a one-time funding bill,” Schroer said.
Mack Hatcher, State Route 96 Road reconstruction, interchange work at the Moores Lane exit and Columbia Pike are a few among the list of projects needing completion, Schroer was quoted as saying. The East Main Street bridge across the Harpeth River also needs work, along with Third Avenue over the Harpeth, Columbia Pike over a CSX railroad and Columbia Pike over the West Harpeth River.
Mack Hatcher Parkway has everything waiting and aligned for its expansion. Right now, it just needs funding. When asked if any work could start in the next year or 2017, Schroer said he wasn’t sure.
“You would have to ask your legislator that question,” he said, according to Franklin Home Page.
To watch Schroer’s appearance before the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, follow this link.