The Ohio Department of Transportation is dedicating nearly $28 million to support local projects to repair, replace, or demolish 24 aging bridges statewide.
[Above image via the Ohio DOT]
That money, which comes from the agency’s Municipal Bridge Program, has been allotted to support the total replacement of 16 bridges, the repair of four bridges, and the demolition of another four bridges. Those grants are also funded with additional support from the Bridge Formula Program – established by the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act enacted in November 2021 – and with money left over from previous rounds of the Municipal Bridge Program.
Although the Ohio DOT said it considers the 20 bridges being repaired/replaced “safe for traffic,” the agency also stressed that “significant improvements” are necessary to ensure that the structures do not become dangerous in the future.
“Providing this funding is another example of how the state can work to support our communities to ensure that local transportation infrastructure is safe for those traveling on our roads and bridges,” explained Governor Mike DeWine (R) in a statement and who, in April 2022, increased Ohio’s yearly funding allocation for the program from $11.5 million to $18.5 million.
“By repairing and replacing these bridges, we can better ensure the safety of travelers in the future,” he noted.
Ohio DOT said its Municipal Bridge Program provides funding to municipalities, metro parks, and regional transit agencies for bridge projects. The program’s grants will pay for up to 95 percent of the eligible costs for bridge construction and inspection, with design costs for 2023 projects also allowed to be funded by those grant awards.
The agency also noted that projects receiving funding as part of Ohio DOT’s Municipal Bridge Program are selected based on committee recommendations and a scoring system, the agency noted, with a funding limit of $2 million set per project and a local match is required for construction projects.
“Previously, the Municipal Bridge Program was only able to pay for a percentage of construction cost. Now, we are also able to cover up to 100 percent of the design costs,” noted Jack Marchbanks, Ohio DOT director. “The additional funding provided to this program from the Bridge Formula Program will certainly help the municipalities that may not have the money for design work on these much-needed projects,” he added.