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​Gov. Lee Signs Landmark Transportation Modernization Act Into Law

News Date

$3.3 B transportation strategy to prepare rural & urban TN for continued growth

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Today, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed the Transportation Modernization Act, historic legislation that will create a new strategy and invest $3.3 billion to accommodate Tennessee’s record growth, address traffic congestion and meet transportation needs across rural and urban communities. The bill received bipartisan legislative support and was backed by dozens of organizations across the state. 

Governor Lee signs Transportation Modernization Act April 2023

“As families and businesses move to Tennessee in record numbers, we need a transportation plan to keep up with the pace,” said Gov. Lee. “Our strategy will meet our state’s transportation needs across rural and urban communities, without new taxes or debt. I commend the General Assembly for its partnership to prepare Tennessee for continued growth and economic opportunity."

The plan will give the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) the resources needed to solve the state’s current and future mobility challenges, including seeking the use of public-private partnerships to preserve state funds for rural infrastructure priorities, exploring Choice Lanes to decrease congestion and increase economic impact statewide, and expanding the alternative delivery model to save taxpayer dollars and deliver road projects more efficiently.

“Tennessee is facing a critical juncture when it comes to mobility, and our new transportation strategy will prepare TDOT to build and maintain roads across rural and urban communities,” said TDOT Commissioner Butch Eley. “I appreciate the work of the legislature and key partners to ensure continued prosperity throughout Tennessee.”

The bill was sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson (R - Franklin), Senate Transportation & Safety Chair Becky Massey (R - Knoxville), House Majority Leader William Lamberth (R - Portland), and House Transportation Chair Dan Howell (R - Cleveland).


“I am tremendously grateful to Governor Lee and my colleagues in the Senate and House for confronting our infrastructure challenges head on,” said Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally. “This legislation will have a positive effect on our congestion issues without abandoning our pay-as-you-go funding system or increasing the tax burden on our citizens. How quickly and efficiently people and goods can move across the state is directly related to our economic success. Improved transportation and infrastructure mean more jobs and that’s a good thing for Tennessee.”

“The Transportation Modernization Act will play an important part in beginning to ease congestion on our roadways,” said House Speaker Cameron Sexton. “I appreciate Governor Lee, Lieutenant Governor McNally, the House and Senate for their partnership as we all continue working to address our immediate, emerging and long-term transportation and infrastructure needs.”

“This is a plan Tennesseans can be proud of. It is an innovative and fiscally conservative approach to modernize our transportation infrastructure without raising taxes,” said Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson. “I appreciate Governor Lee and Commissioner Eley for their work to put together a solid plan to invest in the future of Tennessee, and I am proud to have been a part of it. I am also grateful to Chairlady Becky Massey for her diligent work to get this proposal across the finish line in the Senate.”

“This investment addresses infrastructure challenges without raising taxes, but more importantly, it will provide safer, shorter commutes to get Tennesseans where they need to go in much less time,” said House Majority Leader William Lamberth. “This is a key step to ensuring Tennesseans’ tremendous economic growth continues and that we are well-prepared for the future.” 

“This new law comes at a critical juncture for transportation and infrastructure in Tennessee,” said Chair Becky Massey. “The unprecedented growth in our state over recent decades is the direct result of our sound economic policies, high quality of life, and ranking as one of the lowest taxed states in the country. While this yields economic opportunity, it also presents challenges in our ability to move people, goods, and services across our state. The Transportation Modernization Act addresses the state’s growing infrastructure needs in a fiscally conservative way to improve the lives of all Tennesseans and visitors who travel our roads and ensure Tennessee’s future is prosperous.”

“As Tennessee continues to experience unprecedented growth, investing in our transportation infrastructure is essential to ensuring residents and our economy keep moving forward,” said Chair Dan Howell. “The Transportation Modernization Act will provide historic funding to address congestion in both rural and urban areas of our state. It will also provide innovative solutions to these challenges without the need to raise taxes. I was honored to guide passage of this important piece of legislation in the House, and I appreciate Governor Lee, TDOT and my colleagues in the General Assembly for their support of this generational shift in how we address infrastructure in our state.”

Photos and b-roll from the Transportation Modernization Act bill signing can be found here.