State Lawmakers to Rewrite TDOT Billboard Regulations Ruled Unconstitutional

NASHVILLE – During the second legislative session of the 111th Tennessee General Assembly, state lawmakers will rewrite Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) regulations relative to billboards within the state which were ruled to be unconstitutional by the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

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TDOT Reports Timing for Completion of 962 Road Projects Included in the Fuel-Tax-Increasing IMPROVE Act Going from 10 to 20-Plus Years

Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) officials reported last week that the timing for the completion of the 962 projects totaling $10.5 billion included in the fuel tax increasing IMPROVE Act will now take 20 plus years instead of the 10 years originally estimated.

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Sixth Circuit Court Rules That TDOT’s ‘Billboard Act’ Unconstitutionally Restricts Non-Commercial Free Speech

The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued an opinion on September 11, 2019, affirming that Tennessee’s Billboard Regulation and Control Act of 1972 is unconstitutional based on its content-based regulation of free speech.

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Tennessee Railroad Crossings Pose Greater Danger to Drivers, Audit Critical of TDOT Says

Tennessee Department of Transportation officials did not properly handle complaints about faulty railroad crossings, and that could pose a threat to drivers’ lives, according to an audit Tennessee Comptrollers released this week.

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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.…

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

billboard

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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Haslam Reduced Highway Fund Budget By 13 Percent, Grew State Budget By 20 Percent Before Proposing Gas Tax Increases

Tennessee Star

Governor Haslam reduced the Highway Fund budget by 13 percent, while he grew the State budget by 20 percent during his first six years in office. Only after he made these reductions in the Highway Fund budget did he propose the gas tax and diesel tax increases included in the…

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TDOT Reduces Backlog From $6 Billion to $4.7 Billion, But Total ‘Project Needs’ Grow to $10.5 Billion

Tennessee Star

  The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) list of projects issued at the end of 2015 totaled $6.1 billion.  The updated project list included with the 2017 IMPROVE Act, on its surface, has a bottom line figure of $10.5 billion with the backlog potion being $4.7 billion. A spreadsheet document…

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Under Governor Haslam, Tennessee Department of Transportation ‘Overhead’ Costs Have Grown 63 Percent, While ‘Highway Infrastructure’ Spending Has Shrunk By 33 Percent

The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) total costs for “Administration” plus “Headquarters Operation,” what would be considered “overhead” in the business world, have grown by 63 percent, from $78.9 to $117 million, in the seven years between Gov. Haslam’s first budget in FY 2011-12 and his  proposed budget for FY…

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Tennessee Department of Transportation Says it ‘Needs’ $46 Million For Distracted Driver Programs

The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) has identified 15 projects in a budget category best described as “distracted driver programs” that will cost $46.4 million, part of the 962 total statewide transportation projects it has scheduled over the next 12 years at a total cost of $10.5 billion. All these…

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Senate Transportation Committee Approves 15 Percent Increase in TDOT Budget That Includes $278 Million From IMPROVE Act Funding

Tennessee Star

The State Senate Transportation Committee voted on Monday to approve the Tennessee Department of Transportation’s (TDOT) 2017-18 budget of $2.2 billion, an increase of 15 percent over the 2016-17 budget of $1.9 billion. Five members of the committee voted in favor of the increased funding, while three passed on the…

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