Tennessee governor open to using bonds for urgent bridge work

| 8/29/2007

While no major problems have been found on Tennessee bridges, Gov. Phil Bredesen said he would consider issuing bonds to pay for any urgent repair needs.

The state traditionally pays for transportation work with revenue generated from the state’s tax on gas and diesel and through federal funding.

Bredesen said he has no desire to deviate from tradition when it comes to paying for road and bridge work, The Tennessean newspaper reported. Concerns about safety in the state’s transportation system, however, could result in the state tapping into bonds to make sure fixes are made in a timely manner.

The Senate Transportation Committee is expected to have hearings on infrastructure funding during the next regular session, which begins in January 2008.

Transportation officials have said there is enough money in the state’s pocketbook to ensure the safety of bridges, The Tennessean reported. That assurance was made despite the federal government trimming $12 million from its bridge repair and replacement fund.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Tennessee in 2007, click here.