‘No industry is escaping it’: Supply chain impacting TDOT projects

Special Reports

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The Tennessee Department of Transportation is adjusting to supply chain issues in an effort to shore up critical infrastructure in the state.

“No industry is escaping it,” said Rebekah Hammonds, TDOT Community Relations Officer.

Repairs needed to roads and bridges that thousands travel on in Tennessee daily are now experiencing supply chain shortages, which have resulted in delays for TDOT.

Hammonds said the I-40 bridge repair in Humphreys County is just one instance of how TDOT has been impacted. “Well I-40, we all know is a major corridor, a major interstate, and what could have been a one month repair project became a 5 to 6 month repair project.” 

TDOT said all resurfacing and bridge repairs have been delayed and at least two dozen other projects have also been held up.

“We’re not able to just go to Walmart or Home Depot and get these materials,” Hammonds explained. “I think people sometimes forget that our contractors and even us, we’re getting these materials in large quantities ,and that means it’s shipments from far away.”

The Tennessee Transportation Agency and subcontractors of TDOT are also experiencing shipping delays in the pigments and paints used to stripe the roads. Plus, there’s been a delay in the epoxy resin used on bridges to complete jobs.

“Here we are saying ‘are you guys going to be done on time?’ And they’re saying ‘we’re trying to get this railing in. Can you work with us here?” Hammonds continued, “We’re always staying on top of it, especially, when it comes to things like bridge repairs that are so critical. We want to make sure we got the right stuff in place to make sure it’s done correctly.” 

News 2 continues its in-depth coverage of the stressed supply chain in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Keep up with the latest information as we head into the holiday season with our reports ‘Supply Chain SOS.’

The state has also delayed jobs because of worker shortages due to COVID-19 quarantines as well as material shortages like steel and equipment parts.

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