With one of the best bridge programs in the nation, in 2009, TDOT launched the largest bridge replacement and rehabilitation program of its kind in state history. TDOT’s Better Bridges Program is a four year program approved by the Tennessee General Assembly to utilize bonds to pay for the repair, replacement or rehabilitation of more than 200 structurally deficient bridges in the state. In 2013 TDOT has replaced, repaired or rehabilitated 193 of the 200 state-owned structurally deficient bridges bringing the number of state bridges that are structurally deficient to just 3.3 percent.
The future, however, holds a new challenge for Tennessee and all states. Congress passed legislation in 2012 that changed funding for bridges in the federal transportation program, MAP-21. The Bridge program must now compete with other transportation funding needs. States will be required to meet maintenance standards set under a new system of performance measures.