ABC Hosts TDOT Commissioner Clay Bright

The Associated Builders and Contractors of Greater TN hosted a Membership Luncheon on Thursday, August 15th featuring guest speakers Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner, Clay Bright and Assistant Chief Engineer over Operations, Will Reid.

The event peaked interest of approximately 120 ABC members and guests who enjoyed networking followed by lunch and the presentation.

Commissioner Bright touched on the values of TDOT, including the safety of their own people, safety of contractors and most importantly the public safety of all of
Tennessee. TDOT’s currently planning 2-3 years ahead, allowing them to tell contractors and consultants what’s out there and what’s to come. The commissioner
touched on the recently passed Hands Free Legislation. Bright gave insight to the fact that distracted driving reached an epidemic level in the State of TN, killing 36-37,000 people a year on the roadways.

Furthermore, the commissioner discussed the Improve Act that was passed in 2017. He explained that Tennessee is 1 of 5 states in the US that does not borrow any
funding to support the maintenance of roads and bridges. Funding is pulled from fuel tax at 46 cents a gallon – adding that residents who drive about 15,000 miles a year roughly contribute $345 annually to the maintenance of the roads and bridges.

Will Reid, Assistant Chief Engineer over Operations, gave ABC members and guests an overview of the ongoing 440 Reconstruction Project. This project is the largest
project in history from a dollar standpoint and has three main goals - Address the pavement, improve safety and address the congestion. The project began in March 2019 and is expected to last 706 days.

The project is being broken up into phases, to aid in delivering an as-close-to- seamless-process as possible. About 240 contractors are on the job 24/7. One of
the biggest and most important points Reid conveyed was that the speed limit is 45mph.

Pavement is one of the most crucial pieces of the 440 project. The contractor took pavement on the outside, crushed it up and recycled it, putting it back into the project, processing 100,000 yards of material thus far. This was a sustainable solution and good use of the public dollar.

As the project is expected to be finished in July 2020, there are a lot of obstacles ahead. For more information on the 440 Reconstruction Project visit