State gets $23 million to fix RR bridges

Published 4:20 pm Wednesday, October 4, 2023

THE CENTER SQUARE

Tennessee received $23.7 million to upgrade or replace 42 railroad bridges across the state.

The bridges are part of 10 different short-line railroads in 12 different counties. The funds are part of $1.4 billion in federal tax dollars going to projects in 35 different states as part of the Biden Administration’s Infrastructure Law.

“Short-lines are critically important components of Tennessee’s multimodal transportation network and to rural economies,” Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner Butch Eley said in a statement. “Rehabilitation of the rail bridge infrastructure will lead to economic gains in the communities they serve with jobs, improved and expanded operations, and enhance supply chain efficiency and safety as it keeps large, heavy cargo and hazardous commodities off our highways.”

The federal funding came after Tennessee put $85 million in state funds into infrastructure for the state’s short-line railroads in 2021, which the TDOT believes contributed to receiving the new funding.

The funding will be managed by TDOT along with rail operators, rail authorities, rural communities and industries.

Most of the bridges being replaced are old timber structures that will be rebuilt or rehabilitated. The bridges are located in Cumberland, Davidson, Dyer, Gibson, Knox, Madison, Marion, Montgomery, Obion, Putnam, Roane and Smith counties.