Governor Bredesen Considers Using Bonds to Pay For Urgent Bridge Repairs

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Governor Bredesen says he'd consider issuing bonds to pay for any urgent bridge repairs.

But he noted today that no major problems have been identified on Tennessee bridges so far.

The state has traditionally paid for infrastructure projects with federal funds and through money raised from the state's tax on gasoline.

Preliminary state inspections last week found no immediate safety concerns with five Tennessee bridges that were built with a similar design to the Minnesota bridge that collapsed into the Mississippi River August 1st.

Transportation Commissioner Gerald Nicely ordered inspections of the deck truss structures in Jefferson, Knox, Sullivan, Carter and DeKalb counties after the bridge in Minneapolis collapsed.

The state has plans to replace two of the five deck truss bridges: the Netherland Inn Bridge in Sullivan County and the Interstate 40 bridge spanning the French Broad River in Jefferson County.

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