(NASHVILLE, TN) – State Senator Ken Yager today announced the Tennessee Department of Transportation’s (TDOT) 2011 budget includes funds to begin the process of widening US 127 from Lowe Road in Cumberland County to State Route 62 in Clarkrange. Yager said funding for acquisition is a major step forward to help boost economic development in the area and create jobs.
“This project was one of my top legislative priorities as it will greatly enhance our job creation efforts,” said Senator Yager. “This enables Fentress County to position itself to be a very competitive player in industrial development.”
In July 2009, Yager invited TDOT Commissioner Gerald Nicely to visit the site of the Clarkrange Regional Business Park and meet with local officials regarding the project. As a result of that visit, the Commissioner was impressed with the Fentress County government’s commitment to complete the park. The Department consequently conducted a feasibility study before inclusion of the project in their 2011 budget.
“In order to draw new industry it is critical that we have the appropriate access to the Interstate,” Yager added. “We are delighted that this phase of the project is now included in the Department’s budget.”
The right of way acquisition is scheduled to begin in the fall. The next phase of the project will be funding for construction which must be included in TDOT’s 2012 budget plan. The project was also a priority of the Fentress County Commission which asked local legislators to proceed on the project at a “rapid pace.”
“I will continue to monitor and push for completion of this project with the new administration as it will have a huge positive economic impact on our communities in this area,” Yager concluded.