Editorial: State’s transportation system earns much-deserved accolades

Jul. 15, 2013 @ 11:55 PM

Tennessee has its flaws as a state. What state comes across as perfect?  All you can hope for in a state is that it does the best it can and reaches heights in some areas. It appears Tennessee can claim just such heights when it comes to transportation.

For the fourth year in a row, Tennessee’s transportation system ranks as one of the best in the nation, according to CNBC’s 2013 study “America’s Top States for Business.” According to the report, Tennessee ranks second best in America in the category of “Transportation and Infrastructure,” up from fourth place in 2012. Tennessee is also the only state topping the list that has no transportation debt.

That is a terrific honor for the state, because a solid transportation means is good for business, tourists and locals as well. 

“We are striving to be the best DOT in the nation,” said Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner John Schroer. “This ranking is an affirmation of the efforts TDOT has made in the last two and half years to be innovative, efficient, and responsible. Prioritizing and maximizing our investments will continue to provide economic benefits to communities across the state.”

“We know that access to high-quality infrastructure is a key component to getting products to market and people on the move,” said Kent Starwalt, executive vice president of the Tennessee Road Builders Association. “This acknowledgment is a true testament that the department and the industry are working together to foster economic opportunity in Tennessee by providing a superior transportation network.” 

The CNBC report scored all 50 states on 51 measures of competitiveness developed with input from business groups. States received points based on their rankings in each metric. Those metrics were then separated into ten broad categories, including the vitality of each state’s transportation system. Tennessee also ranked well in the categories of workforce and cost of living. This is the seventh year the news network has performed the study.

Congratulations to TDOT and the state for a noteworthy accomplishment.