A state plan providing $120 million to local governments to make bridges safer for the motoring public recently got a boost.
The state’s Local Bridge Partnership Program is adding 10 additional bridges to a program that is already fixing or replacing 220 bridges in local communities throughout Ohio.
“This first-of-its-kind program is getting better because Gov. John Kasich and I value the state investments we are making in the infrastructure of our local communities,” said Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor. “Ohio is in a better place today as we continue to focus on jobs and the economy, and transportation is critical to moving our state forward.”
The first bridge completely reconstructed as part of the new program opened up Aug. 22 in Meigs County. The bridge on Tornado Road (or County Road 124) over the Yellowbush Creek just outside of Rutland took just six weeks and $492,570 to reconstruct.
Last fall, Gov. John R. Kasich announced a $120 million investment in repairing or replacing more than 200 county and city-owned bridges over three years. Since many bridges came in well under original estimates, the state has added more bridges to the list of 220, bringing the new total to 230 local bridges fixed or replaced by the end of 2016.
The 10 new bridges slated for reconstruction over the next couple of years are:
• Johnson Road over Bradford Creek in Madison County
• Township Road 365 over Wills Creek in Guernsey County
• Thayer Road over Dry Creek in Knox County
• Wilmington Road over Gum Run in Warren County
• Clay Pike over Little Salt Creek in Muskingum County
• County Road 25C over Rock Riffle Run in Athens County
• Millsboro West Road over a stream in Richland County
• Blue Rock Road over Blue Rock Creek in Muskingum County
• Sandbar Road over the Little Muskingum River in Monroe County
• Remsen Road over a branch of the Rocky River in Medina County
The first 30 local bridges are currently under construction or heading to construction in the coming days. In 2015 and 2016, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) will award contracts to repair or replace the remaining 200 bridges.
“Most people can’t get from home to a major interstate without traveling on local roads and bridges,” said ODOT Director Jerry Wray. “This administration understands that improving local bridges, improves our entire state transportation system and helps motorists safely get from point-A to point-B.”
Prior to the state’s Local Bridge Partnership Program, ODOT had not made such a large scale investment in the bridges of local counties and cities.
Ohio has 44,000 bridges, the second-highest number in the nation behind Texas. According to some reports, the condition of Ohio’s bridges is better than the national average but many bridges are still waiting for much-needed repairs.