WASHINGTON, D.C. — On a news conference call today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) outlined his Bridge Investment Act, which calls for significant investment in bridge repair projects. President Trump has called for $1 trillion in infrastructure spending, and in a recent New York Times interview noted that the nation’s bridges are in bad shape.
- A full county-by-county list of “structurally deficient” and “functionally obsolete” bridges in Ohio can be found here.
- 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.” The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates there is a $123 billion bridge repair backlog nationally, with $30 billion of bridge repair needs identified in Ohio.
“We need to make robust investments in infrastructure, so people can get to work, kids can get to school, and we can move goods and services that support Ohio jobs,” said Brown. “That’s why I introduced the Bridge Investment Act, which will put Americans to work repairing and updating Ohio bridges with American iron and steel.”
Brown was joined on the call by Pat Gallagher, sub-district director for United Steelworkers District 1 in Ohio, to offer support for the Bridge Investment Act.
“Sen. Brown’s bill provides a common sense path forward for the President and Congress to improve Ohio infrastructure, while also putting our friends and neighbors to work across our state,” said Gallagher.
Brown, ranking member of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, introduced his bill with Ron Wyden (D-OR), ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), a member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. The Senators’ respective Committees represent key Committees in developing an infrastructure package. The bill would help repair bridges of all sizes in urban and rural areas, and require all projects to use American-made steel and iron for bridge projects funded by the bill.
Brown’s bill would also:
- Ensure that a bipartisan infrastructure package could eliminate the national bridge repair backlog, if the new bill is added to such a package.
- Create an innovative evaluation process for proposed projects to ensure the fair and efficient allocation of federal funding.
- Bundle medium and small projects into a single application to cut down on red tape and accelerate repairs.
- Allow entities of all sizes and scope to apply for funding, including: states, counties, cities, metropolitan planning organizations, special purpose districts, public authorities with transportation functions, federal land management agencies and Indian tribes.
The American Society of Civil Engineers, the International Union of Operating Engineers, National League of Cities, North America’s Building Trades Union, the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, the American Road & Transportation Builders Association and the Associated General Contractors of America have announced their support for the bill.