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

Bill includes significant funding for highway infrastructure in the 7thDistrict

Posted on July 29, 2005

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Bill Frist (R-TN) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) today announced final House passage of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) highway bill 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 7th 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 Blackburn for all of their hard work on behalf of Tennesseans.”  As Senate Majority Leader, Frist has 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 7th District and across the state,” said Alexander. “I will continue to work with Senator Frist and Congressman Blackburn to make sure Tennessee communities receive the federal assistance they need to grow and prosper.” “Economic development in our state relies in part on infrastructure improvements like these,” Blackburn said. “This is a big boost for the state's economic outlook, and it's giving Tennessean's a solid return on their taxpayer dollars. Working together we've had great success this year in ensuring that our communities are receiving the transportation dollars they need to grow and prosper.”   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 7th District funding in the highway bill conference report includes: ·$12 million for Tennessee statewide bus replacement and implementing Intelligent Transportation Systems ·$4.18 million to reconstruct U.S. 64 from Bolivar to the Lawrence County line. ·$4 million to construct force protection barriers along U.S. Highway 41A at Fort Campbell, Montgomery County. ·$2.78 million to widen Interstate 65 from state Route 840 to state Route 96, including interchange modification at Goose Creek Bypass, Williamson County. ·$2.72 million to construct a westbound bypass from Zinc Plant Road to Dotonsville Road in Montgomery County. ·$2.52 million to construct state Route 385 (North and East) around the city of Memphis. ·$2.28 million to extend state Route 397 (Mack Hatcher) from state Route 96W to U.S. 431 North to Franklin. ·$2.2 million to develop intelligent transportation signs at Fort Campbell access points, Montgomery County. ·$664,000 to construct sound walls on Interstate 65 between Old Hickory and Harding Place in Davidson County. ·$500,000 to reconstruct and widen U.S. 412 from Madison County to Parsons in Henderson and Decatur counties. ·$160,000 to upgrade lights, gates and motion sensors at rail road crossings on Wenasoga Rd. in Middleton. 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.