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U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, D.C., www.dot.gov/affairs/briefing.htm - News

FHWA 37-11
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Contact: Nancy Singer
Tel: 202-366-0660

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Announces $7 Million in Grants for Tennessee Highway Projects

Funds will help create jobs by expanding highway enhancements, interstate widening and repair

WASHINGTON - U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced more than $7 million in grants for Tennessee to fund an array of highway-related efforts, including the widening of I-65 in Nashville to accommodate high-volume traffic and extending the Tennessee Riverwalk in Chattanooga to connect communities.

"Transportation investments like these will create jobs and improve the quality of life for Tennessee residents as well as strengthen the state's economy," said Secretary LaHood. "The demand from the states for these funds shows just how critical the need is for infrastructure investment."

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) invited states to apply in June for federal funding from 14 grant programs. Requests poured in from every state, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. - more than 1,800 applications, totaling nearly $13 billion, which is more than 30 times the funds available.

"At a time when states are facing serious budgetary constraints, these grants will help fill a critical need," said Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez. "Investments like these are immediate and long-lasting and will help create jobs."

Congress created the discretionary grant programs to give FHWA the latitude to support projects that maintain the nation's roads and bridges, improve roadway safety and make communities more livable. In previous years, Congress designated some of this grant money for specific projects and FHWA awarded the remainder through a competitive process. Because the FY11 budget passed by Congress last April directed that all such funds be discretionary, FHWA awarded these funds through a competitive process.

Tennessee received funding for the following projects:

Widening I-65 from Trinity Lane to US-31W/41 (Dickerson Road) in Nashville $3,750,000
Including cement additives and seal coating to help address stability and durability problems on 10.2 miles of  Lake Front Road/LBL Route 206  in Lakes National Recreational Area $1,400,000
Extending the Tennessee Riverwalk from Chattanooga’s downtown to the base of Lookout Mountain and the St. Elmo community, with a lighted and landscaped walkway to promote safety and livability $978,300
To provide general and technical assistance to increase the participation of Disadvantaged Business Enterprise firms $407,400
Conducting a study on constructing distinct gateway portals to better define the 357-mile Tennessee River Trail Scenic Tennessee River Trail Scenic Byway $300,000
Providing comprehensive commercial drivers license training course $102,150
Developing a Comprehensive Management Plan for Newfound Gap Road Scenic Byway $80,000
Constructing a rest area shelter and installing markers at Cherohala Skyway Scenic Byway $19,880
TOTAL $7,037,730

A complete state-by-state list of this year's grant recipients is available online at https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/pressroom/fhwa1137/.

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