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Politics

Haslam announces 3-year plan for Tennessee road projects

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State of Tennessee
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam's plan for road construction involves $2 billion for 94 projects around Tennessee over the next three years.

The Republican governor is trying to make the case for increasing the state's gas tax for the first time since 1989 as a way to help cover a $6 billion backlog in transportation project funding. Haslam says that roads cost three times as much to build since the tax was last increased and that drivers pay less because of better fuel mileage.

But lawmakers have been reluctant to take up the measure in an election year, and the governor acknowledges that a gas tax is unlikely to be considered this year. Meanwhile, Haslam has agreed to direct an additional $142 million to road funding this year.