The state’s transportation system is in good shape, according to Tennessee Commissioner of Transportation John Schroer during a visit to Cleveland Monday.
The commissioner spoke to a group at the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce.
“We’re spending lots of money in Bradley County,” Schroer said. “Over the last three years we have committed over $60 million in this community alone.”
He said the state was “paying a lot of attention” to the transportation needs of the area.
“We have Exit 20 [off Interstate 75] well under construction, and we’re working on the interchange on APD 40,” Schroer said.
He added there is a “huge” State Industrial Access project connected with the Whirlpool facility.
“There has also been a huge SIA project connected with Wacker,” he said.
“We’re touching lots of different places,” Schroer said. “It’s a good growing community.”
He said the department was also “intricately involved” with funding for the new Jetport.
“We’re hitting the area in all modes,” he said.
Schorer said the state is “doing great” in transportation in comparison to neighboring states.
“The main reason is we have no transportation debt, so our dollars go into projects rather than into debt service,” he said. “That makes a big difference.”
He said Tennessee also leads the nation in perpetual paving projects and micro-servicing.
“We are doing everything we can to make our roads better than other areas. We have lots of technology at work,” he said.
He said as good as the state’s transportation system has become, there is still a deficiency in having all desired projects come to fruition.
“We do have dollar issues, as does everybody,” Schroer said.
One of those concerns shared by almost all states is that of bridge infrastructure.
The commissioner said that issue is on Tennessee’s radar as well.
“We’ve spent a lot of money in the last five or six years working on our bridges,” he said. “Our bridges are all safe. Some of them might have restricted weight limits, but they are safe with that limit.”
He said every bridge in the state is inspected once every two years.
“It doesn’t matter whether it’s a state bridge or a local bridge, we inspect those,” Schroer said. “We feel really good about that.”
He added there is local money available to repair bridges.
“We feel we are in really good shape with our bridges,” he said.
While in town, Schroer took the opportunity to personally observe the construction currently underway at Exit 20, saying the project was “on time.”