Alexander, Frist, Cooper Announce Final House Passage of Highway Reauthorization Bill

Bill includes significant funding for highway infrastructure in the Nashville region

Posted on July 29, 2005

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Bill Frist (R-TN) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN) today announced final House passage of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) highway bill conference report which includes significant funding for Tennessee highway, transit and safety programs. “After a long and hard fought process, I’m pleased that we’ve been able to secure a highway bill that funds Tennessee’s transportation priorities,” said Frist.  “This legislation supports critical infrastructure projects and will spur economic development in the 5th District.  As Majority Leader, I’m committed to bringing this bill to the floor quickly so we can get it to the President for his signature.  I want to thank Senator Alexander and Congressman Cooper for all of their hard work on behalf of Tennesseans.”  As Senate Majority Leader, Frist secured more than $200 million for Tennessee transportation projects. “Better roads mean better jobs. This bill provides funding to improve our interstates, highways and transportation infrastructure, which are critical to economic development in the 5th District and across the state,” said Alexander. “I will continue to work with Senator Frist and Congressman Cooper to make sure Tennessee communities receive the federal assistance they need to grow and prosper.” “Funding for these projects in and around Nashville will significantly help us address the critical transportation issues our growing region faces,” Cooper said.  “Support for these projects means jobs in our community today and significantly greater economic opportunities for the future.  I am honored to have been able to work with Senator Frist and Senator Alexander to make sure that our community receives the support we need for Nashville and the surrounding area to continue to be recognized as a great place to live and work.” The legislation ensures that the State of Tennessee will receive a 26.71 percent increase in its highway formula funding over TEA-21 enacted levels. On average, Tennessee will receive an extra $168 million each year. Tennessee’s rate of return for federal highway formula funding will increase from 90.5 percent to 91.5 percent in FY07 and to 92 percent in FY08. The transit title of the highway reauthorization bill provides funding for a number of vital urban and rural transit programs and specific transit related projects. Overall, the State of Tennessee’s transit formula apportionment will increase 164 percent over the previously enacted highway reauthorization bill. Tennessee will receive $216.7 million from FY2006 through FY2009. In addition, the state will receive $44.4 million for specific transit projects across the state. The Nashville region funding in the highway bill conference report includes: ·$13.2 million for construction of the Downtown Nashville Transit Transfer Facility.     ·$12 million for Tennessee statewide bus replacement and implementing Intelligent Transportation Systems. ·$6 million for street improvements, streetscape features, signals and road signs along 3rd Avenue North and Union Street in Nashville. ·$5.4 million to reconstruct a connection with Hermitage Avenue to the Cumberland River Bluff in Nashville. ·$5.2 million to continue the Shelby Avenue – Demonbreun Street (Gateway) project in Nashville. ·$3.17 million to construct a parking garage on the campus of Lipscomb University in Nashville. ·$2 million to retrofit noise reduction walls in Davidson County. ·$1.3 million to construct a Greenway system in Nashville. ·$800,000 to construct an interchange on Interstate 40 at Beckwith Road in Wilson County. ·$800,000 to reconstruct state Route109 from I-40 in Wilson County to Portland in Sumner County. The conference report is expected to be approved by the Senate prior to the August recess and will then go to President Bush for his signature.