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Feds rescind Tennessee stimulus road project money
Westland at Northshore drives, Kingston Pike at Lovell Road funds nixed

Washington has rescinded millions of dollars of federal stimulus money from transportation projects in Tennessee, but Town Engineer Darryl Smith said no projects currently under construction in Farragut should be affected.

“The money that is already obligated for projects, like the Campbell Station [Road] project, that’s not being affected,” Smith said.

But other projects, such as the Watt Road extension, where money has been “tagged” but not obligated, aren’t so sure anymore.

“The money is not officially obligated, so it may be in danger for right now, but if Congress passes a new bill, it most likely will just be lumped into [it].

“I’m not scared we’re going to lose any projects, but we’re going to have to wait and see what happens,” he added.

The Feds have rescinded $190 million in stimulus money from Tennessee. The state originally received $500 million.

Jeff Welch, Knox County MPC’s Transportation Planning Organization director, agreed the rescinded funds only affected projects without obligated money.

“It’s those projects that never got to be obligated that we lost a lot of money on,” Welch said.

If more projects had been obligated by September, the money may not have been rescinded, Welch said, but added some of the transportation funds had been replaced with economic stimulus money.

“That’s not been subject to this [withdrawal]. That’s a totally different process,” Welch said.

Between $15 and $16 million in transportation funds in the area was rescinded, but the economic stimulus money added about $12 million, for a net loss of between $3 million and $4 million.

“It’s complicated, but there were two things going on, one is the economic stimulus that added some money, so we replaced some dollars [from transportation funds],” Welch said.

“It’s not simple.

“The federal government gave us $12 million, but six months later they took away $16 million. … It stopped a number of projects that were in the works,” he added.

So what projects did Farragut lose federal funding for?

Farragut lost about $80,000 for the expanded park and ride lot off Campbell Station Road, and nearly $10,000 for upgrading signal timing at Parkside Drive (combined with another signal at North Peters Road.)

West Knox County lost about $727,000 for widening the intersection of Kingston Pike and Lovell Road plus about $496,000 for improving the intersection at Northshore and Westland drives.

Welch said Knox County TPO wasn’t able to spend economic stimulus money on these projects because of tight schedule requirements for the stimulus funds.

“We were not able to spend that economic stimulus money because it had to go towards things that could be done in a certain time frame,” Welch said.

“The long term effect is that a number of projects sort of moved ahead, because of the economic stimulus, but at the same time, other projects we had lined up … have now come to a halt,” he added.


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