Skip to Content

Maintenance Division - State Aid - Bridge Grant Program

James K. Polk Building, Suite 400
Nashville, TN 37243
Phone: (615) 741.2028
Fax: (615) 532.5995
Charles N. King, Interim Transportation Manager 1

State Aid Program

The State Aid Program provides funds to county governments for the improvement or rehabilitation of roads on the State Aid System. The types of qualifying work include the planning, engineering, right-of-way acquisition, grading, drainage, bridge construction, and pavement upgrades or rehabilitation. The State Aid System may comprise no more than 20 % of the total road miles in a county. In general, these routes should be spaced at intervals consistent with the population density. They should serve all communities within the county, and they should function as connector routes linking the important traffic generators within the county.

Each year when the appropriation becomes available, the Regional State Aid personnel meet with the county officials in their region and together they develop an annual work program listing the projects each county intends to pursue that year. The SA regional personnel also work with the county to develop the contract between the county and state, authorize payment for ongoing SA projects and conduct the final inspection on completed projects.

The SA program also permits one other use for SA funds. If a county chooses, theymay use up to 50% of their annual allocation as matching funds for BRZ projects, or they may transfer up to 50% of their annual allocation to the local bridge replacement program, otherwise known as the Bridge Grant Program. State aid bridge projects are developed under the same guidelines as bridge grant projects and must be under the supervision of a licensed professional engineer.

The majority of state aid funds is used for roadway widening and pavement upgrades. Some counties oversee their own state aid projects under the county certification procedures, but some choose to use consulting engineers to manage their annual program.

Bridge Grant Program

The Bridge Grant Program was established to assist local governments with the replacement or rehabilitation of deficient bridges under their jurisdiction. Since the inception of the original program in 1982, local government, in partnership with the state, has replaced over 2800 bridges utilizing bridge grant funds.



The first priority of the program is bridges with an H-load rating less than 10 tons. Candidate structures appear on an annual selection list and the funds are offered to the local government with the highest-priority bridges on the list. In general, eligible bridges must be less than 100’ in length or may be up to 150’ in length if the Average Daily Traffic (ADT) is 200 or more. A licensed professional engineer must oversee the plans development, as well as, the contract and construction management. Plans require TDOT approval. More detailed information for engineers regarding plans development and submittals is contained in the bridge grant guidelines. The local government may use an engineer on their staff or hire a consulting firm to do this work for them. Plans require TDOT approval before the local government can take bids for construction. The Regional State Aid personnel also work with the county to develop the contract between the county and state, authorize payment to the local government for ongoing projects and conduct a final inspection on completed projects.