Tennessee Lawmakers raise concerns over TDOT stimulus money

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- State Transportation Commissioner Jerry Nicely says that the state wants to contract out all of its federal stimulus money for road and bridge projects by June.

But some state lawmakers raised concerns in a Senate Transportation Committee hearing Tuesday that their districts are not adequately represented among the projects that have been deemed ready to get under way.

Democratic Sen. Doug Jackson of Dickson says his six-county district has only a few projects on the department's approved list. He is calling for more of a geographical balance to where $527 million in federal the money is spent.

Republican Sen. Ken Yager of Harriman agreed noted that the counties in his Cumberland Plateau district with the highest unemployment rates also have the fewest projects.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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