In May 2021, the Hernando de Soto bridge, along Interstate 40, which serves as the primary connector between Memphis and Arkansas, was closed down. The closure was prompted by a significant crack in the bridge, jeopardizing its integrity. After 5 months of repair work on the bridge, it was reopened on August 3rd. Though many were relieved by the bridge’s reopening, the incident prompted others to further evaluate the state’s infrastructure viability, especially given the substantial growth that persists in Tennessee.
In an August 4th White House press release, President Biden’s administration provided an outline of benefits that each state can expect to receive. Despite growing concerns by many state officials, the most notable benefits Tennessee can expect to receive from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act are:
- $5.8 billion for federal-aid highway apportioned programs, over 5 years
- $302 million for bridge replacement and repairs, over 5 years
- $630 million for improving public transportation options across the state, over 5 years
- $88 million to support the expansion of an EV charging network, over 5 years
- $100 million to aid in broadband deployment
- $17 million to aid in protecting against wildfires, over 5 years
- $21 million to aid protecting against cyberattacks
- $697 million to improve water infrastructure, over 5 years
- $300 million for further airport development
Tennessee’s estimated allocation totals nearly $8 billion, resulting in approximately $1,200 per Tennessee resident. If enacted, these funds will work alongside the state’s infrastructure investments, which included $100 million to provide high-speed broadband, $145 million for air and rail transportation infrastructure, and $100 million for local infrastructure grants.
The full release from the White House can be accessed here.