US Senators Call for Investment in Ohio Bridge Repairs

<p>Michaela Madison Reporting

US Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) is calling for infrastructure investment to update and repair bridges across Ohio.

Senator Brown explained of the 28,284 bridges in Ohio, nearly 2,000 are classified as ‘structurally deficient” and more than 4,500 are classified as “functionally obsolete.”

“From World War II into the 1980s we had infrastructure; highways, bridges, water and sewer systems, airports, ports, community colleges, housing, we had the best the world had ever seen [and] we now rank somewhere like 14th or 15th in the world,” said Brown. “This problem is an opportunity we need to seize.”

Matt Brunning, Spokesman for the Ohio Department of Transportation noted the agencies dedication to maintaining and improving Ohio’s bridges and says additional funds to do that are always welcome.

“We’ve invested about 14 billion dollars, so far in our infrastructure since 2011,” said Brunning. “We look at all of our bridges with an annual inspection even though the federal requirement is every other year and bridges are rated on a scale of 0 to 9. Our bridges, that ODOT is responsible for carry an average rating of just over 7.”

ODOT is responsible for roughly 14,000 bridges.

Senator Brown noted the legislation will also promote American jobs by requiring the use of American-made steel and iron, and create an innovative evaluation process of proposed projects to ensure the fair and efficient allocation of funds.

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