COLUMBUS—The Ohio Senate approved legislation today, sponsored by Senator Frank Hoagland (R-Mingo Junction), making significant infrastructure investments in local communities throughout the state.
"The condition of our roads and bridges is an ongoing concern for southeast Ohio," said Senator Hoagland. "Investing in local bridge projects helps to support economic development and makes Ohio's roadways safer for the traveling public."
Ohio has the most bridges of any state, except Texas, with more than 26,000 structures. In 2015, the American Road and Transportation Builders Association estimated that more than 1,800 of Ohio's bridges are structurally deficient, with another 4,200 deemed functionally obsolete.
Created by executive action in October of 2013, the Ohio Bridge partnership Program has invested approximately $138 million for repairing and replacing more than 200 bridges statewide. The program is set to expire at the end of June 2017.
Bridges must meet the following criteria to be eligible for funding: be more than 20 feet in length; be deemed structurally deficient; must currently be open and carrying vehicular traffic; and must not be currently funded by other sources.
Senate Bill 6 now goes to the House of Representatives for further consideration.
$7.8 Billion Investment in State Highway System
The Senate also approved legislation today investing $7.8 billion to fund the construction, maintenance and safety of the state's transportation system. The Ohio Department of Transportation estimates that the budget will support and create tens of thousands of jobs over the next two years.
"Well-maintained roads and bridges are an important consideration for companies seeking to expand their operations and create jobs here in Ohio," said Hoagland. "This budget invests in critical infrastructure and provides additional dollars for counties and municipalities."
Passed by the Senate with unanimous, bipartisan support, House Bill 26 provides funding for the Ohio Department of Transportation, Department of Public Safety, Public Works Commission and Development Services Agency.
"This bill makes critical investments in infrastructure, improving roads and bridges throughout the state of Ohio," said Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina). "The bill also makes improvements in government efficiency and includes key changes to make Ohio a more attractive place to do business."
Among the bill's provisions included in the Senate-passed version:
House Bill 26 now proceeds to the House of Representatives for concurrence.