Governor Mike DeWine, alongside Dr. Jack Marchbanks, the Director of Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), have announced that approximately $28 million in local funding focused on the repair, replacement, or demolition of 24 deteriorating bridges in the state is being provided to local communities.
One of those spans is here in Richland County. The East Elm Street Bridge in Butler will be replaced using $751,894 of these monies.
The Municipal Bridge Program is funding the full replacement of 16 bridges, repair works on four bridges, and the demolition of another four bridges.
Despite the fact that the 20 bridges slated for repair or replacement are currently deemed safe for traffic, substantial improvements are required to prevent them from posing potential hazards in the future. The four bridges to be demolished are all currently unused.
Governor DeWine explained that the funding underscores the state’s commitment to bolstering local transportation infrastructure to ensure safe travel across roads and bridges. “The repair and replacement of these bridges will significantly enhance the safety of future travelers,” he stated.
The Municipal Bridge Program, managed by ODOT, offers financial support to city councils, metropolitan parks, and regional transit authorities for bridge-related projects. In the previous year, Governor DeWine boosted the annual budget for this program from $11.5 million to $18.5 million.
The grants that have been announced are also backed by additional dollars from the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s Bridge Formula Program, as well as remaining funds from earlier rounds of the Municipal Bridge Program. The grants will cover up to 95 percent of the eligible costs for constructing and inspecting bridges. The design costs for this year’s projects may also be funded by the grant awards.
Director Jack Marchbanks highlighted that the program can now cover up to 100 percent of design costs in addition to a portion of the construction costs. “The extra support from the Bridge Formula Program will undoubtedly be of great assistance to municipalities that may lack funds for the design aspect of these urgent projects,” he remarked.
Project funding through ODOT’s Municipal Bridge Program is determined by committee recommendations and a scoring system. Each project has a funding cap of $2 million and requires a local match for construction projects.