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Porter: I-40 Truck Lane Biggest Citizen Request In Transportation Arena

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Porter: I-40 Truck Lane Biggest Citizen Request In Transportation Arena

Putnam County Mayor Randy Porter said the T-DOT addition of a Monterey Mountain climbing lane to its ten-year project plan means improved safety.

Porter said congestion and danger on that stretch of Interstate 40 was the number one response on a citizens survey sent out by the Putnam County Transportation Committee.

“We have so many accidents on Monterey Mountain,” Porter said. “You get just to two lanes and trucks don’t use just the right lane like they’re supposed to, and you get a wreck going up Monterey Mountain then, and then you have a hard time getting emergency vehicles up and down the mountain.”

Porter said the county has been pushing for years to get support in easing the traffic on I-40, so it is exciting to see that TDOT is listening. The project will be an intensive one with the bridges between the two communities having to be rebuilt to allow for the additional lane. The project will also require an intense amount of rock work.

Porter said that when trucks try to make it up a grade that steep, traffic can be so backed up that people are discouraged from making the trip in and out of Putnam County as often as they might like.

“I think it has to be a positive for everyone, including the truckers,” Porter said. “I know that them going that slow up the mountain if they’re loaded is a definite worry that they have of someone hitting them or running into them, so I think it would be a positive for everyone, and it’s got to be a huge safety increase.”

Porter said the project will help the economy in cities throughout Putnam County. He said the county depends on travelers from across the state coming through to eat, shop, and go to the doctor.

“We also depend on, a lot of our sales tax revenue and hotel-motel tax revenue comes from folks that are traveling along the interstate that stop here to spend the night, eat, fill up the gas, that kind of thing,” Porter said. “We want to make it as easy as possible for folks to get in and out.”

T-DOT announced the $193 million project Monday as part of its new ten-year initiative. Construction would begin in 2029.


The post Porter: I-40 Truck Lane Biggest Citizen Request In Transportation Arena appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.