FILE - Road construction, infrastructure

Tennessee needs nearly $55 billion in estimated annual infrastructure-improvement spending to meet the public's infrastructure needs, according to a report from the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations.

The $54.8 billion estimate is a 9.7 percent spending increase from last year, which amounts to about $4.8 billion. The majority of this cost can be attributed to the rising cost of transportation and utility infrastructure, which amounts to $3.7 billion of the increase.

The second-largest increase was education, which rose $575 million. The primary driver of these increases come from improvements needed for higher education, which will cost an additional $395 million. Costs for K-12 education increased by $242 million – 11.2 percent of the state's schools rated in fair or poor condition; 182 of these 198 schools account for nearly half of the cost of improving school space.

Three other categories needed an increase of about $200 million each: recreation and culture, general government and health, and safety and welfare. Economic development was the only category to have a decrease. It went down about $65 million.

Transportation and utilities accounts for more than half of the cost estimates of $29.6 billion, while education accounts for the second most at $14.2 billion. Health, safety and welfare account for $7.6 billion.

Staff Reporter

Tyler Arnold reports on Virginia and Tennessee for The Center Square. He previously worked for the Cause of Action Institute and has been published in Business Insider, USA TODAY College, National Review Online and the Washington Free Beacon.