21 road projects to benefit from IMPROVE Act - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

21 road projects to benefit from IMPROVE Act

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HAMILTON COUNTY, TN -

UPDATE: Governor Bill Haslam will sign the IMPROVE act in Chattanooga, Nashville and Union City on Monday, June 5. 

In Hamilton County, he will be at the welcome center on I-75 North at 10:15 a.m.


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The largest gas tax hike in Tennessee history is set to go into effect this July. Now, we're learning how Hamilton County will benefit from the governors IMPROVE Act.

The IMPROVE Act will fund 962 road projects across Tennessee, addressing a 10.5 million dollar backlog in repairs and updates, 21 of those projects are in Hamilton County.

If you've been down an interstate through Hamilton County, you've probably sat through bumper to bumper traffic, wasting time and money on gas.

"I’ve experienced delays 20 to 30 minutes just trying to get 4 miles because the split does kind of leaves you between exits,” said driver Brenda Speller.

The I-24/I-75 split is just one of the road projects TDOT hopes to improve to reduce traffic and safety. It’s also near the top of the IMPROVE Act’s list for Hamilton County. Along with I-24, from I-59 to US-27 and the I-75 interchange at Hamilton Place Mall.

Gary Drinnen with Targeted Strategy said taxpayers will foot the bill and they’ll pay more at the pumps, but save a little at the grocery store.

"The IMPROVE Act cuts more than $500 million dollars in taxes each year at its full implementation, and next year, in 2018, nearly $300 million in tax cuts will be realized,” Drinnen said.

Tennessee’s Transportation Coalition said more than a thousand lives were lost on Tennessee roads in 2016 and highway improvements can save lives.

“Highway infrastructure can do this by separating motor vehicles in time and space, limiting the angles at which vehicles can collide, reducing the likelihood and consequences of collisions,” Drinnen said.

This month TDOT released its annual three-year transportation plans. Officials tell Channel 3 they were able to start new projects in Hamilton County under the improve act and speed up their plans.

Over the next 15 years, the IMPROVE Act is expected to fund about $570,000,000 in Hamilton County.

The Transportation Coalition said they do not have a timeline for the projects in Hamilton County. We reached out to TDOT and they tell us they hope to begin the project at the split within the next fiscal year.

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