Haslam Doesn't Expect Much Help For Tennessee From Trump's Transportation Plan

Jun 5, 2017

Gov. Bill Haslam does not anticipate much help from President Trump in rebuilding the state's roads and bridges.

The president is expected to announce a new plan this week to upgrade infrastructure around the country, after promising during last year's campaign to spend $1 trillion dollars on transportation improvements. But he appears to want states to partner with private operators on projects like toll roads, and Haslam notes that's something Tennessee has never done to pay for highways.

"You're promising a certain revenue stream to whoever that person is, putting the dollars up," he says. "We've always been pay-as-you-go on our roads, so I've been of the assumption that if we're going to address infrastructure problems, we're going to have to do it ourselves."

Haslam is touring the state this week to mark the passage of his transportation plan, known as the IMPROVE Act. It raises the state's gas tax by 6 cents a gallon over the next three years.

In Nashville, he held a midday ceremony atop an I-440 overpass. The Haslam administration says it will begin resurfacing that corridor next summer as a result of the IMPROVE Act's passage. The project will cost $50 million in total, according to the state.