Link to this report
TENNESSEE’S PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE NEEDS
EXCEED $20 BILLION
Education and Transportation Represent Almost 60% of Total
This year’s report, which is the third in a series on public infrastructure needs, is the first to include projects requested by state agencies for the current fiscal year. Most of these projects were not included in the state’s recommended budget because of the state’s budget crunch. Among them were $11.7 million in major renovations of the National Guard Armories, $28 million to address security, health, and safety needs at state prisons, $37 million in renovations and improvements for state parks, and $1.1 billion in new construction, upgrades, and renovations for the campuses of the state’s public higher education institutions.
TACIR analysis indicates that the quality of the information reported in the inventory continues to improve. In the 2001 report, the gap between needs as reported by local officials and needs as estimated by TACIR analysts was $2.8 billion. This year that gap was cut almost in half to $1.5 billion as a result of improved reporting by local officials. “Each year the information collected by this project becomes more and more reliable, which makes the public infrastructure
inventory project even more relevant to citizens and local officials,” observed Senator Robert Rochelle, TACIR Chairman.
Other Highlights of the Report
· Transportation and utilities remain the single largest category of infrastructure need with a total of $8.3 billion, representing about 40 percent of reported needs and increasing $900 million since the 2001 report. Transportation alone represents 35 percent of the grand total at $7.1 billion.
· Health, safety, and welfare needs represented the third largest category at $4.4 billion and accounts for 21 percent of the state’s infrastructure needs. Water and wastewater needs total $2.9 billion or 14 percent of the grand total.
· The greatest infrastructure needs are in counties with the largest population gains. The ten counties that reported the greatest infrastructure needs in dollar terms are also the ten counties with the largest population gains during the 1990s. Shelby, Rutherford, Davidson, and Knox counties were the top four counties in both population gain and total infrastructure needs. Hamilton County ranked eighth in population gain and fifth in total infrastructure needs.
· Reported infrastructure needs have grown 50 percent since the first inventory in 1998. The total infrastructure needs reported in 1998 totaled $13.7 billion. This increase is a result of better reporting by local officials and the addition to the inventory of needs identified by state agencies, as well as population growth.
The full report can be found on TACIR’s web site at www.state.tn.us/tacir/infra2002.htm.
TACIR’s mission is to serve as a forum for the discussion and resolution of intergovernmental problems; provide high quality research support to state and local government officials in order to improve the overall quality of government in Tennessee; and to improve the effectiveness of the intergovernmental system to better serve the citizens of Tennessee.