Tennessee infrastructure needs now $61.9B
Tennessee's growing list of infrastructure needs has hit a price tag of $61.9 billion.
- Driven by transportation, utilities, and education projects, needs expanded by about $3.4 billion over the last year, according to a new report from the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (TACIR).
- It marks the sixth year in a row the total has increased.
Why it matters: The latest TACIR report reflects long-needed improvements to roads, bridges, and wastewater systems, as well as new needs spurred by rapid growth.
What they're saying: "There are a number of projects related to infrastructure that's deteriorated over the years," TACIR executive director Cliff Lippard told a panel of lawmakers this week. "A lot of the projects that are in the public infrastructure inventory are related to economic development wins."
- "You can't do a Blue Oval or an Amazon distribution center or a Nashville Yards or a Volkswagen expansion without infrastructure supporting it."
By the numbers: The three top project types identified in the report are transportation ($34.1 billion), higher education ($6.6 billion), and school renovations ($5.3 billion).
- Technology needs grew by $99 million, an 88% jump over the previous year, partly in response to the pandemic.
- More than two-thirds of the needs identified in the report were not yet funded, although officials said more funding is typically secured as projects moved forward.
Driving the news: Infrastructure became a priority nationwide after President Biden signed a $1.2 trillion spending package last year.
- Officials expect Tennessee will get $8 billion to support road construction, public transportation, and bridge repairs, among other things.
- That's on top of the $1.3 billion in pandemic stimulus funds the state is using for wastewater improvements and $500 million for broadband.
What's next: Gov. Bill Lee is expected to include other infrastructure projects in his legislative priorities this year, which will be announced next Monday during the State of the State address.
- "Given Tennessee's strong fiscal position, we have the opportunity to propose significant investments in road projects to prepare the state for continued growth," Lee spokesperson Casey Black tells Axios.
More Nashville stories
No stories could be found
Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Nashville.