Tennessee Department of Transportation

Tennessee Department of Transportation
Agency overview
Formed 1915
Jurisdiction State of Tennessee
Headquarters James K. Polk State Office Building
Nashville, Tennessee 37243
Employees Approximately 3,900
Agency executive
  • John Schroer, Commissioner
Website http://www.tn.gov/tdot/

The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) is a multimodal agency with statewide responsibilities in roadways, aviation, public transit, waterways, and railroads. The mission of TDOT is to provide a safe and reliable transportation system for people, goods, and services that supports economic prosperity in Tennessee.

Major responsibilities

The major duties and responsibilities of TDOT are:


TDOT is headed by a single commissioner who is appointed by the governor. The department is organized into four regions of the state: Knoxville (Region 1), Chattanooga (Region 2), Nashville (Region 3), and Jackson (Region 4). Each region is subdivided into three districts and those districts are further subdivided into county facilities. TDOT has at least one facility in all of Tennessee’s 95 counties. Several administrative offices, including the commissioner and staff, operate from the TDOT headquarters in downtown Nashville, the state’s capital city. TDOT has approximately 3,900 employees.

TDOT is organized into four regions, which are divided into districts and then further subdivided into county facilities. The table below indicates the region, the districts in each region, the counties in each region and district, and the locations of the district offices.

TDOT Regions with their Constituent Districts
Region District District Office Maintenance Offices Construction Offices Counties References
1 (Knoxville) 17 Johnson City Johnson City, Morristown Johnson City, Morristown, Elizabethton Carter, Greene, Hamblen, Hancock, Hawkins, Johnson, Sullivan, Unicoi, Washington [1]
18 Knoxville Knoxville, Newport Knoxville(2), Newport Anderson, Cocke, Grainger, Jefferson, Knox, Sevier, Union
19 Harriman Harriman, LaFollette Harriman, LaFollette, Maryville Blount, Campbell, Claiborne, Loudon, Monroe, Morgan, Roane, Scott
2 (Chattanooga) 27 Cookeville Cookeville, Crossville Cookeville, Crossville, Livinigston Clay, Cumberland, DeKalb, Fentress, Jackson, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, White [2]
28 Tullahoma Tullahoma, Dunlap Tullahoma, Dunlap, McMinnville Bledsoe, Cannon, Coffee, Franklin, Grundy, Marion, Sequatchie, Van Buren, Warren
29 Chattanooga Chattanooga, Benton Chattanooga(2), Cleveland Bradley, Hamilton, McMinn, Meigs, Polk, Rhea
3 (Nashville) 37 Nashville Nashville, Gallatin Nashville(2), Gallatin Davidson, Macon, Smith, Sumner, Trousdale, Wilson, Williamson [3]
38 McEwen McEwen, Clarksville McEwen, Clarksville, Columbia Cheatham, Dickson, Hickman, Houston, Humphreys, Maury, Montgomery, Robertson, Stewart
39 Belfast Belfast, Lawrenceburg Belfast, Lawrenceburg, Murfreesboro Bedford, Giles, Lawrence, Lewis, Lincoln, Marshall, Moore, Perry, Rutherford, Wayne
4 (Jackson) 47 McKenzie McKenzie, Newbern McKenzie, Newbern, Trenton Benton, Carroll, Decatur, Dyer, Gibson, Henry, Lake, Obion, Weakley [4]
48 Jackson Jackson, Bethel Springs Jackson, Bethel Springs, Brownsville Chester, Crockett, Hardeman, Hardin, Haywood, Henderson, Madison, McNairy
49 Arlington Arlington(2) Memphis(2), Covington Fayette, Lauderdale, Tipton, Shelby


The predecessor to TDOT was created by legislative action in 1915 when the first administrative agency for highways and the first highway commission to guide the administrative agency's activities were created. The highway commission was directed by six non-compensated commissioners which included the governor, the state geologist, and the dean of the University of Tennessee Engineering School. In 1919, transportation was organized under a three-commissioner structure which remained in place until 1923. The agency was reorganized in 1923 with the establishment of a single commissioner in Chapter 7 of the Public Acts of 1923. Under the single commissioner structure in 1923, J.G. Creveling, Jr. was appointed by Governor Austin Peay. In 1972, the agency name was changed to the Tennessee Department of Transportation to reflect other modes of transportation in addition to highways.

Tennessee’s transportation system

Highway system
Airport system
Rail system
Transit system
Bicycle and pedestrian system


Funding for the state transportation system in Tennessee comes from a fund that is separate from the state’s general fund which operates most of the other state agencies in Tennessee. Transportation revenues come from both federal transportation monies and from state funding resources. Those state funds come from a combination of dollars collected from gas and diesel tax revenues, titling and registration fees. Tennessee operates on a "pay as you go" system by using available revenues resulting in no debt service.


Six-commissioner structure, 1915–1919

Ex-officio members: Tom C. Rye, Governor; A.H. Purdue, State Geologist; Charles, E. Ferris, Dean of Engineering, University of Tennessee Appointed: Authur Crownover, Charles W. Williams, William H. Crox (succeeded by C. F. Milburn)

Three-commissioner structure, 1919–1923

W.P. Moore, W.W. House, W.T. Testerman

Single-commissioner structure, 1923–present


  1. Staff. "Region 1". Tennessee Department of Transportation. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
  2. Staff. "Region 2". Tennessee Department of Transportation. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
  3. Staff. "Region 3". Tennessee Department of Transportation. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
  4. Staff. "Region 4". Tennessee Department of Transportation. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
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