(Rutherford County, TN) The Tennessee Department of Transportation suggests they have discussed an idea to increase travel reliability and travel speeds on area interstates. What are called Choice Lanes are being considered in the Volunteer State.
Choice Lanes, if implemented, would be funded through a Public-Private Partnerships (P3) that would allow private investments to potentially pay for and oversee new roadway infrastructure. What would amount to private express lanes for drivers who choose to pay a fee to use the roadway, would generate revenue to offset the cost of construction and maintenance of the road. Similar roads exist in over a dozen urban areas across the United States, according to TDOT.
If a Choice Lane were constructed, one of the key areas that would likely be eyed for implementation is Interstate 24 between Murfreesboro and Nashville. Other areas that could be considered include I-40 between Lebanon and Nashville and I-65 between Spring Hill and Nashville. Future construction of “Choice Lanes” could also impact traffic flow in the areas around Knoxville, Chattanooga and Memphis.
One reason TDOT is talking about the idea of Choice Lanes is because gas taxes have not gone up and they need to formulate new plans to cover the cost of road construction and maintenance. It also appears that nationwide fuel consumption will go down as more electric vehicles are introduced, which means fewer trips to the pump and less revenue for roads to be generated. Choice Lanes would allow for paying motorist to get to their destination quicker, if there is an option of taking a secondary lane of travel with less traffic.
TDOT says they would control the pricing policy for Choice Lanes and who would be charged for their usage. The Tennessee Department of Transportation would also be in charge of increasing or decreasing the fee to use a Choice Lane.
Read more details of Choice Lanes, as released by TDOT, HERE.
Article from WGNS Radio in Murfreesboro, TN. Serving Rutherford County since 1947.