The Tennessee Department of Transportation said federal funding uncertainty will likely cause them to delay 13 construction projects, totaling $200 million.
The federal Highway Trust Fund, that provides half of the state's budget, is running out of money. It is funded through the gas tax that hasn't been increased in 21 years.
Tuesday evening, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to extend funding by $10.8 billion through May. TDOT said they will still prepare for the possibility of a depleted fund.
All current construction projects will continue because they are already funded.
"We are a pay as you go state," said TDOT Region 1 Director Steve Borden. "We will be able to function and deliver our projects."
But five future widening projects in East Tennessee will be put on hold including:
- State route 29 through Morgan County
- State route 29 through Roane County
- State route 32 in Cocke County
- State route 101 in Cumberland County
- I-40 truck ramp expansion in Cumblerand County
"The big impact is knowing what your budget is going to be and having consistent funding source so we know what we're going to have to budget for," said Borden.
Borden said he would like to see a long-term solution.
Senator Bob Corker has proposed increasing the gas tax by 12 cents to replenish the Highway Trust Fund.