Mt. Juliet’s Noon Rotary Club was treated to a presentation on the Tennessee Department of Transportation’s long-range plan Monday.
TDOT community transportation planners Larry McGoogin and Katy Braden were on hand to explain how TDOT researches ideas for its plan and some of the items included in it.
“TDOT usually updates this every eight years or so,” McGoogin said.
He also gave Rotarians a few statistics about the roadways in Tennessee. He said there are 94,247 miles of roadway in the state, and cited a poll by CNBC in 2013 that ranked the state near the top in the nation in transportation infrastructure.
“We are ranked No. 2 behind Texas,” McGoogin said. “But, they also have $18 billion in transportation debt. Tennessee has zero transportation debt. We are one of four states with no transportation debt.”
The plan TDOT is currently working on expands to 2040. McGoogin said TDOT expects 2 million more people by that time. The state is divided into four regions, and Wilson County is in Region 3.
“Fifty-five percent of that growth, over 1 million people, is expected to be in Region 3.”
After giving the audience the opportunity to give their opinions on several survey questions, Braden spoke about just how TDOT pays for its road projects.
“TDOT, and every department of transportation, generally relies on the gas tax as our source of revenue,” she said.
She said with the new fuel-efficient vehicles, “people are paying less at the pump, which is great for your pocketbook and great for the environment. But that’s less of a revenue stream for the department to work with.”