Tennessee Returns $68 Million in Unclaimed Property to Residents

Tennessee State Capitol building

The Tennessee Department of Treasury (TDOT) said Wednesday that it returned more than $68 million in unclaimed property to Tennesseans in Fiscal Year 2023, a record for the state department. 

“Unclaimed property is money that has been turned over to the State by businesses and organizations unable to locate the rightful owners, such as utility refunds, uncashed paychecks, credit balances for overpayments, rental deposit refunds, gift certificates, securities, and abandoned bank accounts,” the department explained. “The Unclaimed Property program is a consumer protection program of the Department of Treasury that works to reunite this missing money with its rightful owner.”

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TDOT will Halt Construction to Ease Traffic on July 4th

Road construction

The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) will halt all construction on July 4th to ease traffic for travelers during Independence Day.

“With so many people traveling on and around the Fourth of July, we want to do all we can to ensure they reach their destinations safely and without necessary delays,” said Deputy Governor and TDOT Commissioner Butch Eley in a news release. “We are doing so by suspending lane closures during this busy holiday travel time. Be mindful that our HELP Trucks will be on patrol and drivers must obey the law by moving over and slowing down for all emergency vehicles on the side of the road.”

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I-65 Interchange at Buckner Road Expects to Reopen Next Week: Report


The new I-65 Interchange at Buckner Road in Spring Hill is expected to open on May 31 after being under construction for more than two years, according to a report by Williamson Source.

On its website, Spring Hill called the new interchange a “game-changer” for the area, as there is currently only one I-65 access point to the city through the Saturn Parkway Exit.

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TDOT Will Halt Construction for Easter Weekend

Road construction

The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) will halt interstate construction beginning Thursday as travelers head to their Easter destinations. 

“TDOT crews and contractors will stop all road construction work that requires lane closures beginning Thursday, March 28, at 6:00 p.m. through Monday, April 1 at 6:00 a.m.,” a release from the department says. “This will provide maximum roadway capacity to motorists expected to travel across the state this upcoming holiday weekend.”

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TDOT’s ‘Nobody Trashes Tennessee’ Partnering With Local Girl Scouts

Nobody Trashes Tennessee

The Tennessee Department of Transportation’s Nobody Trashes Tennessee project is working with local Girl Scouts to give them patches for helping with the cause.

“Girl Scout Troops are highly committed to community service projects and environmental education, and we are thrilled to have participation from all three councils representing the entire state of Tennessee participating in our Nobody Trashes Tennessee patch program,” said Brittany Morris, TDOT’s transportation program supervisor in a release. “Within the first two months of launching the program in Middle Tennessee, we had approximately 1,000 Girl Scouts earn a Nobody Trashes Tennessee patch. We are excited to have even more participation from Girl Scouts this year and have numerous ways for them to get involved.”

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Clarksville Mayor: State and Federal Government ‘Have Been Helpful’ in Wake of Deadly Tornadoes

The mayor of Clarksville Monday told The Tennessee Star that his city is receiving help from the state and local levels after several deadly tornadoes ripped through middle Tennessee over the weekend. 

“The Governor and Mrs. Lee, along with TEMA were on the ground with us yesterday,” Clarksville Mayor Joe Pitts told The Star Monday. “The White House reached out to me and offered any help we needed.  So, yes, state and federal government have been helpful.”

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Tennessee Department of Transportation Wants to Remove 50,000 Pounds of Litter During ‘No Trash November’

The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) is encouraging residents statewide to participate in its annual No Trash November, with the goal of picking up as much litter as possible from Tennessee’s roadways.

“Litter on our public roads is detrimental to safety, the environment, and the economy, while also detracting from Tennessee’s natural beauty,” said TDOT Commissioner Butch Eley in a press release. “We want to ensure our roadways are safe from the harmful effects of litter, especially with the upcoming holidays and increased travel.”

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I-75 in Hamilton County Set to Be Reduced Down to Two Lanes for One Month Beginning August 1st

I-75 to Chattanooga

The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) announced that beginning Monday, August 1st at 9:00 p.m. ET, I-75 in Hamilton County will be reduced to two lanes in each direction for one month from mile marker 7 (near the Bonny Oaks Drive exit) to mile marker 10 (between the Volkswagen Drive exit and the Ooltewah exit). The lane closures come as the interstate is undergoing repair for damaged concrete slabs, bridge repairs, and new pavement markings.

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Tennessee Department of Transportation Will Pause Construction for July 4th Weekend

Tennessee motorists will not have to worry about construction delaying their Independence Day plans, according to the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT). 

“With so many people hitting the road we want to do all we can to ensure they reach their destinations safely and without necessary delays,” said TDOT Commissioner Butch Eley in a Monday press release. “We are doing so by suspending lane closures during this busy holiday travel time.”

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TDOT Rolls Out Hotline for Motorists to Report Potholes

As part of the ongoing effort to battle potholes plaguing Tennessee’s roadways the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) Wednesday announced a new hotline for drivers to report those potholes. 

“We all know it’s been a terrible year for potholes and here at TDOT we are always looking for ways to improve our customer service,” said TDOT Commissioner Butch Eley. “For the citizens, this hotline will give them another convenient way to report maintenance problems on our interstates and state routes. For TDOT, this centralized way of receiving, processing, and tracking information will enhance our operations.”

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Tennessee Department of Transportation Partners with Nonprofits to Establish Network of Litter Removal Devices to Clean the Tennessee River

The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) has teamed up with Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful (KTNRB) and other partners to “establish a network of Seabin automated litter and debris removal devices across the Tennessee River watershed,” according to a press release by the department.

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Tennessee Department of Transportation Announces Construction on SR 155/Briley Parkway

The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) announced construction would begin Wednesday, January 26 to repair a section of SR 155/Briley Parkway at mile marker 14 near Gallatin Pike. Alternating lane closures will be conducted while the work takes place from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. each day, depending on the weather. 

The project is expected to last five days; the Rogers Group will begin milling in the fast lane and work their way across all five lanes. Motorists are advised to plan for extra travel time and slow down while in a work zone.

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Tennessee Department of Transportation Announces No Lane Closures Over the Holiday Season

The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) announced earlier this week that there will be no lane closures over the holiday season. From midnight December 23 through 6 AM January 3, drivers in Tennessee drivers will not experience any lane closures. 

The announcement read, “Road construction won’t delay travelers during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. The Tennessee Department of Transportation is once again halting all lane closure activity on interstates and state highways in anticipation of higher traffic volumes across the state.”

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Tennessee Department of Transportation: No Lane Closures over Thanksgiving Holiday

The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) announced they would halt all lane closures over Thanksgiving Weekend. According to the TDOT website, “All construction-related lane closures will be stopped beginning at noon on Wednesday, November 24, 2021, through midnight on Sunday, November 28, 2021.”

The TDOT said they are expecting higher volumes of traffic due to the holidays.

“Thanksgiving is typically the most traveled holiday of the year,” Commissioner Joe Galbato noted, adding, “Halting road work during this time will provide maximum capacity on our highways and help alleviate congestion, especially during the predicted peak travel days of Wednesday and Sunday.”

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Tennessee Department of Transportation Might Convert Certain HOV Lanes in Nashville into Toll Lanes

Vanderbilt University staff on Friday published a press release that announced they’d partnered with the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) to study whether to convert certain High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes into High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes.

But by Monday the Vanderbilt press release had vanished. A source told The Tennessee Star on that Vanderbilt’s communications staff posted the press release in error. The press release appeared online before Vanderbilt officials had signed off on it.

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I-40 Bridge Closed Indefinitely for Repair

Both the East and West bound lanes of the Hernando DeSoto Bridge of Interstate 40 in Memphis will be closed indefinitely, according to a statement released by the Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT) and confirmed by the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT). 

A routine inspection conducted by a contractor with the Arkansas Department of Transportation found structural damage in one of the beams in the bridge

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The Tennessee Star Report Takes a Call from a Career Trucker with Insights into Recent Bridge Collapse in Chattanooga

On Thursday’s Tennessee Star Report with Steve Gill and Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 am to 8:00 am – Gill and Leahy discussed the recent report from CNN about the Chattanooga bridge collapse. The duo took a call from a career trucker named Art who expressed some interesting views on the situation and the possible reason it could have happened: Gill: This report by CNN that the bridge rail collapse down in the Chattanooga area was because a truck hit it and sliced some of the steel beams that held the barrier, the wall in place. Let’s go to Art. He had a comment about a truck hitting the bridge. Art, good morning. Welcome to the Tennessee Star Report. Art: Thank you. Thank you. Great show, love your show every morning. Gill: Thank you Leahy: Thanks Art. Art: Just a different comment on this truck thing. I haul delivery equipment and have and you name it for about 28 years and part of the problem is not just the trucks. They get a permit to haul this stuff, these oversized loads and normally DOT or TDOT or wherever they originate from, give…

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Tennessee Mayor Questions Certain TDOT Spending Priorities

James Mayberry

Take two pieces of infrastructure. Maybe one is a road. Maybe the other is a sidewalk. Both of those things are under the oversight of the Tennessee Department of Transportation. One project might need more attention than the other. Sometimes the project that doesn’t need as much attention is TDOT’s priority, said Crossville Mayor James Mayberry. Mayberry told The Tennessee Star he sometimes doesn’t grasp why. But Mayberry did say he’s grateful for a new $1.3 million grant to pay for sidewalks in his city and that the money is needed. The money will also pay for new streetlights and crosswalks in Crossville’s downtown area. With that new grant money city officials will bring up sidewalks to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act, among other things. Main Street, where much of this work will take place, is a state highway, Mayberry said. “If you drove on it right now you’d understand why it needs to be paved. Having said that, I don’t agree with everything TDOT does,” Mayberry said. “I’ve been told not to ask ‘Why’ sometimes, because it’s hard to get a good explanation as to why certain things get done. I’ve been told not to ask why…

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TDOT Considers Total Closure of Interstate 440 For Reconstruction

Highway 440, Nashville

TDOT is planning to overhaul Interstate 440 in Nashville, with options ranging from closing segments at a time all the way to completely closing the roadway for 10 months. The Tennessee Department of Transportation laid the options out at a public information meeting on Tuesday. WKRN reports the department is considering three closures, each focusing on two areas of the road: east, from Interstate 24 to Interstate 65, and west, from I-65 to Interstate 40. One option is temporary lane closures in both directions lasting 36 months. The second option, WKRN says, would be to completely close I-440 east then west for 10 months to get the project done in a faster time. Or, a third approach would combine the first two options and take up to 22 months. TDOT says it is using the Design-Build method to deliver the I-440 Reconstruction Project. Four Design-Build teams are preparing proposals that will include final design of the project, plans for how it will be constructed and a bid amount. TDOT has provided the teams with the three construction options. The Design-Build teams will submit their final proposals later this month, the department says. TDOT hopes to award the I-440 Reconstruction Project contract…

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TDOT Commissioner Says Nashville Transit Plan Would Have Helped No One

John Schroer

TDOT’s leader said Nashville’s transit plan failed at the ballot box because it “had no bearing on regional traffic” and would not help anyone, the Nashville Business Journal reports. John Schroer made the comments at a town hall meeting last week at Williamson Inc., the Williamson County Chamber of Commerce. He is commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Transportation. “It wasn’t going to help anybody, it was going down through the main corridors in Nashville,” the Journal said, quoting the Brentwood Home Page website. “Those were all state roads, and they had to get our approval … in order to do what they were going to do, but no one ever asked us about it.” Schroer referred to the $9 billion Nashville transit plan that failed in a May 1 referendum by a massive ratio of 64 percent against vs. 34 percent in favor. The Brentwood Home Page story quoted Schroer as saying Tennessee’s interstates are being used at only 20 percent of their capacity. “If you look at downtown Nashville, that’s not our issue. We do have traffic, we know we have traffic, but it can be better managed,” Schroer said. Technology and use of flexible work schedules can…

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Democrat PAC Uses Fear Mongering and Deception to Malign Conservative Legislators, Praises Governor Haslam On Gas Tax Increase


LEBANON, Tennessee – A newly launched Political Action Committee (PAC) commissioned a billboard with a scandalous message attacking two conservative middle Tennessee lawmakers, former State Senator Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet) and current State Senator Mark Pody (R-Lebanon), for their votes against Governor Haslam’s gas tax increasing IMPROVE Act. The IMPROVE Act – Improving Manufacturing, Public Roads and Opportunities for a Vibrant Economy – also dubbed “2017 Tax Cut Act,” passed the Tennessee General Assembly in April 2017. On the eve of the next installment of the IMPROVE Act’s additional $0.01 per gallon gas tax and $0.03 per gallon diesel tax increases set to go in effect on July 1, 2018, and nearing the highpoint of election season, the billboard appeared on the northbound side of Highway 109 in Wilson County. Beavers is running in a hotly contested race for Wilson County Mayor against eight-year incumbent Randall Hutto. Meanwhile Pody is seeking re-election to the District 17 State Senate seat encompassing Wilson County which was vacated by Beavers when she decided to run for Governor. Pody, a sitting State Representative at the time, narrowly won the seat against Democrat opponent Mary Alice Carfi in a special election held in late 2017…

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Planning Continues for Rebuilding Interstate 440 in Nashville

traffic jam

Planning is underway for a major overhaul of Interstate 440 in Davidson County, a project that is expected to take three years. The Tennessee Department of Transportation began requesting bids in January for what is called “Design-Build,” sort of a streamlined turn-key project. Contractors bid for the project, which involves the design and construction of large projects. For roadways, that can include design, right-of-way acquisition, regulatory permit approvals, utility relocation, and construction. “This is not going to be a typical low-bid project,” said Kathryn Schulte, TDOT community relations officer for Region 3 (part of Middle Tennessee). “Proposals/plans are currently being developed by the competing design-build teams.” The winning contract will be announced in the summer of 2018, according to TDOT’s timeline. The timeline does not say when work would begin. The plan calls for “removing substandard pavement and widening portions of the 7.6-mile corridor to provide three travel lanes in each direction” between Interstate 40 and Interstate 24. The project is intended to address congestion and improve safety.” The design calls for replacement of deteriorated concrete pavement with asphalt and removal of the grassy elevated median. Other components include ramp widening, construction of new noise walls and replacement of light…

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TDOT: Uncertainty Over Federal Funding Puts 962 Projects Promised with IMPROVE Act Gas Tax Increase In Jeopardy

During this session’s first meeting of the House Transportation Committee, chaired by Rep. Barry Doss (R-Leoma), the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) presented their budget for fiscal year 2019, revealing that the uncertainty surrounding the 47 percent of the department’s budget that comes from federal funding puts the 962 projects listed in the IMPROVE Act in jeopardy. TDOT Commissioner John Schroer was joined by Chief Engineer Paul Degges and Chief Financial Officer Joe Galbato. Degges and Galbato both gave overviews of their respective departmental areas, and were followed by Commissioner Schroer, who spoke on the uncertainty surrounding federal funding to TDOT. This is a result of the spending authorization that expires this week as well as the continued use of short-term spending authorizations. Additionally, the federal FAST Act – Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, authorized in 2015 expires in 2020, which Schroer said “Gave us money they didn’t have.” Since they didn’t have all of the money to cover the “pay fors,” it may result in a rescission of that money in 2020, which totals $170 million for Tennessee. TDOT CFO Galbato said that with the passage of the IMPROVE Act, the state is down from about 55 percent federal…

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TDOT Records Show ‘Boss’ Doss Company Received Road Construction Subcontract Estimated to Be More Than $400,000

When The Tennessee Star asked State Rep. Barry “Boss” Doss (R-Leoma) why his company’s Doss Brothers, Inc. construction equipment was seen at a $2.2 million road construction project in Ardmore, the chairman of the House Transportation Committee who pushed Gov. Haslam’s gas tax increase through the Tennessee House of Representatives said “The turn lane being constructed in Ardmore on SR 7 was announced 2 years ago and was set to bid before the improve act was introduced!  Doss brothers inc. did not bid on the project!” Doss did not deny, however, that the construction company he owns, Doss Brothers, Inc., is working on the project. The Star can now confirm, based on documents obtained from the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) in a public records request, that Doss Brothers, Inc. is listed by the Rogers Group, the contractor who was awarded the $2.2 million project on March 31, 2017, as a subcontractor performing “earthwork” and “concrete flatwork” work on the project. [pdf-embedder url=”https://tennesseestar.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/TDOT_Rogers_DossBrothers_March312017.pdf”] The name of the “earthworks” subcontractor on the TDOT form for that March 31, 2017 contract awarded to the Rogers Group is Doss Brothers, Inc. Doss Brothers, Inc. is also named as the “concrete flatwork” subcontractor in that…

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Gov. Haslam’s Gas Tax Increase Sponsor ‘Boss’ Doss Offers No Explanation Why His Company’s Equipment Is Being Used on Road Construction Project

ARDMORE, Tennessee – Doss Brothers Inc., the construction company owned by State Rep. Barry “Boss” Doss (R-Leoma), the House sponsor of Governor Bill Haslam’s gas-tax increasing IMPROVE Act, is currently performing work at a road construction site on SR 7 in Ardmore, Tennessee, as well as several Giles County locations which lie within the House District 70, which he currently represents. According to TDOT records (page 10 of 17) and Bid Express, the “Secure Internet Bidding” website that handles departments of transportation for 38 states including Tennessee, the bid was “generated” on March 6, 2017, and “let” (awarded) on March 31, 2017. The successful bidding contractor was Rogers Group, Inc., with a “Total Bid” of $2,290,682.00 and a “completion time on or before December 15, 2017,” for “The grading, drainage and paving on U.S. 31 (S.R. 7) from Union Hill Road to Morrow Road in Ardmore,” Giles County Doss Brothers, Inc. heavy equipment, clearly marked as such, has been unmistakably observed within the past week at a road construction site on SR 7 in Ardmore, Tennessee, as seen in the image on the right. The Tennessee Star asked Rep. Doss to comment as to whether Doss Brothers, Inc. equipment has been used on a road construction project…

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SC Gov. McMaster Vetoes Gas Tax, In Stark Contrast to TN Gov. Haslam, Who Championed It

Tennessee Star

  South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster posted a video “Gas Tax Veto” to his Facebook page, saying “Today I vetoed the General Assembly’s gas tax bill, and I would like to tell you why.”  He continued, “Unfortunately, raising taxes was the only solution seriously considered by the legislature.” Quite a contrast to recent events in Tennessee, where Governor Haslam was the one who would only accept a gas tax increase to fund roads through his IMPROVE Act.  The Governor persisted in his “my way or the highway” solution to road funding, despite other alternatives being offered by some members of the House of Representatives, and nearly half of his own party at 35 of 37 Republican Representatives, voting against it. Tennessee suffers from much the same problem as South Carolina, as stated by Governor McMaster, “Right now over one-fourth of your gas tax dollars are not used for road repairs.  They’re siphoned off for government agency overhead and programs that have nothing to do with roads.” As previously reported by The Tennessee Star, some of the current road “user fees” are diverted from the Highway Fund, and the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) “overhead” has grown 63 percent under Governor…

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