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Governor Phil Bredesen Breaks Ground on State’s First Recovery Act Project in Gibson County

Gibson County bridges replaced with 100% Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds

tdot-logo-lgNASHVILLE – Governor Phil Bredesen joined Congressman John Tanner, TDOT Commissioner Gerald Nicely, State Senator Lowe Finney, State Representative Curtis Halford and officials from Gibson County on April 16th to break ground on Tennessee’s first transportation project funded with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds.  The Gibson County project will replace three aging timber bridges along McMurry Road in Trenton.

“The McMurry Road bridges have served the citizens of Gibson County well for more than 37 years, but are clearly in need of replacement,” said Bredesen.  “This project will save the county government close to $200,000 in matching funds, will employ more than 150 Tennessee workers and, most importantly, will give the residents of Gibson County peace of mind as they travel this roadway.”

TDOT Recovery Act Groundbreaking
Gibson County officials join Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner Gerald Nicely (3rd from right), Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen, Congressman John Tanner, State senator Lowe Finney, and State Representative Curtis Halford to break ground on Tennessee's first Recovery Act funded project.

The Gibson County project is one of ten local bridge replacement projects included in TDOT’s March 20 letting.  The $924,000 project was awarded to Ford Construction Company and involves the replacement of three county owned and maintained bridges.  Normally, the county would be required to provide a 20 percent match in order to receive bridge replacement funds; however, that match is waived for projects funded through the federal Recovery Act.

“This infrastructure improvement and others like it starting across our state in the coming weeks will help create jobs in Tennessee in the short term and make our economy stronger in the long term,” Congressman Tanner said. “These investments are necessary to help meet the serious economic challenges facing working families and small businesses in Tennessee. We want to thank Governor Bredesen, Commissioner Nicely and local leaders for their commitment to these crucial efforts.”

“Local bridges are a vital piece of any county’s overall transportation system,” State Senator Lowe Finney added. “I’m pleased to support this investment in Gibson County and appreciate the Governor and TDOT for selecting this project as the first Recovery Act project in Tennessee.”

“This project will rebuild more than just three county bridges. More than 150 people will work on this job and those workers will spend their paychecks at local businesses, so this project will also help improve our local economy,” said Representative Curtis Halford.

All three bridges, which cross Reagan Creek, Davis Creek and a branch of Davis Creek, were constructed between 1968 and 1972 with wooden, or timber, beams and supports that remain in place today.  No reconstruction or major repairs on the bridges have occurred since their original construction.  All three bridges are rated as structurally deficient and have been posted for a maximum allowable weight.

“From the paving crew to the surveyors to the men and women who mix the asphalt and drive the dump trucks, this is the first of many projects that will put Recovery Act funds to work employing Tennesseans,” said Commissioner Nicely.  “TDOT staff considered several factors in determining which projects would be funded by the Recovery Act. The most important was that a project be ready to go to construction by July.”

TDOT also gave consideration to projects that can be completed in three years and are in economically distressed areas.  TDOT plans to let all ARRA funded projects by July, which means all ARRA funded projects will be underway this summer.  Some 24,000 direct and indirect jobs are estimated to be created or maintained through Recovery Act infrastructure funding in Tennessee.

For more information on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, visit www.recovery.gov or visit www.tn.gov/tdot and click on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act link in the middle of the page.

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