Gov. Lee talks about transportation issues in Tenn.

Tennessee News

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Congestion is aggravating for drivers, but Governor Bill Lee says it can also put an “economic chokehold on a lot of businesses.”

Those words came this week at a transportation conference in Nashville.

Gov. Lee said he wants to lead on Tennessee’s transportation issues across the state.

In describing the economic chokehold congestion brings to urban areas in Tennessee, the governor reference 500 trucks from the company he once ran that could be stuck in traffic at the same time.

“You start multiplying those numbers out on business, it has profound negative impact,” he said.

Later, before reporters, he echoed the general themes he spoke of before a Middle Tennessee regional council on transportation.

“We do intend to lead together with the regional leaders,” he said. “It will be a collaborative effort.”

He called the event a kickoff for a new future strategy for large transportation construction projects.

Gov. Lee said there are “innovative and creative ways” to find funding, but what are they?

“Not necessarily toll roads, there are public-private partnerships available out that provide alternatives,” he explained.

That means big companies building transportation and sharing costs, plus revenue with local governments.

We could find out more about the issue in next week’s budget hearings before the governor.

The annual state budget hearings for each department like transportation begin on Monday.

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