Putnam County leaders learned this week how they might move some road improvements across the county up the T-DOT priority list.
Members of the countywide transportation committee met with T-DOT officials Wednesday. Cookeville City Manager Mike Davidson said the meeting produced some good information on smaller projects under $1 million.
“Some of the projects we’ve talked about they thought might be possible to look at just with some other pots of money so that those projects might be able to get on a list much quicker,” Davidson said.
Davidson said T-DOT officials suggested information that needed to be added concerning each project to help in assessing the projects. Safety, for example, might be a pressing issue that would move a project on the list, Davidson said.
Last year, the Legislature passed the Improve Act which outlined some 950 major projects across the state that T-DOT would focus on completing. Estimates suggest those projects total at least $10 billion. Planning, design or construction began on roughly one third of the projects in 2017.
Cookeville has two main projects already among the Improve Act’s projects. Right of way acquisition has begun on Jefferson Avenue between Interstate 40 and Highway 111 for widening. The Act’s priority list also includes the widening of North Willow Avenue from approximately Broad Street to 12th Street.
As those Improve Act projects move off the list, Davidson said Putnam County wants to be ready to move its projects up the list. This week’s meeting, Davidson said, part of that process.
County Executive Randy Porter formed the committee to bring together officials from all municipalities to prioritize the transportation needs countywide.