All seven of the state’s Republican congressmen voted against the bill while our senators lobbed insults…
District 3 Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, in whose district a large chunk of concrete overpass railing collapsed into the middle of I-75 in 2019, voted againts jobs to repair bridges and overpasses…
There’s no secret that Tennessee’s infrastructure is in woeful condition.
The most notable recent example came in May, when a routine inspection of the Hernando de Soto Bridge in Memphis prompted frantic calls to 911: Inspectors found a crack in the bridge so large the waters of the Mississippi River below were visible through it.
While a major conduit of commercial and private traffic, the de Soto, crossed by nearly 70,000 vehicles daily, isn’t the only bridge in the state that needs work. We have 881 bridges that need repair at an estimated cost of $3.8 billion and ample information to document our long-neglected roads, bridges, dams and energy systems.
The Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (TACIR,) a state agency made up of legislators, constitutional officers, local and county officials and a representative from Gov. Bill Lee’s office reported in January the state needs at least $58.6 billion of public infrastructure improvements during the five-year period that began in June 2019 and ends in June 2024.
The 2021 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure gives Tennessee a C-, noting that driving on roads in need of repair costs each Tennessean an average of $209 per year.
To be fair, things could be worse. Tennessee ranks 20th in the nation in number of structurally unsound bridges and 41st in terms of percentage of structurally unsound bridges, according to a 2021 report prepared by the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, an advocacy and trade group.
Nineteen Republicans in the U.S. Senate voted to approve a $1 trillion infrastructure bill on Tuesday. Tennessee Republicans Marsha Blackburn of Brentwood and Bill Hagerty of Nashville were not among them.