TOLEDO, OH – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) joined Toledo leaders at the City of Toledo’s Street, Bridges, and Harbor Department today to highlight the need for local road repairs as he outlined a framework to rebuild and repair the nation’s infrastructure while creating millions of construction jobs.
President Trump promised $1 trillion of investment in American infrastructure during his campaign and Brown joined Senate colleagues to release a roadmap for making that promise a reality. As part of the plan, Brown included Buy America language to ensure American infrastructure is built by American workers, using American iron and steel.
“Rebuilding American infrastructure will put Ohioans to work,” said Brown. “We can create jobs building the roads, transit, and broadband systems that will support our 21st century economy. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and with President Trump to put Ohioans to work creating an infrastructure system that will be the envy of the world once again.”
The proposal outlines how a $1 trillion package of infrastructure investment delivered over the next decade would improve the nation’s transportation, water, housing, broadband, and community infrastructure while creating thousands of construction and manufacturing jobs in Ohio.
Sen. Brown also wrote to President Trump and shared legislation to ensure that Buy America rules apply to all taxpayer-funded public works and infrastructure projects to ensure that American tax dollars support American manufacturing and domestic jobs.
As local news outlets have reported, potholes and road disrepair are particularly troublesome for northwest Ohio drivers. Brown’s blueprint includes significant funding for road and bridge reconstruction. Brown was joined by David Gedeon, Vice President of Transportation for the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments (TMACOG), Wendy Gramza, President of the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce, and Toledo Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson.
“The gap between available transportation funding and regional infrastructure needs continues to widen. Counties, cities, villages and townships in northwest Ohio have been unable to keep up. This is unacceptable as it is a primary government responsibility to provide safe, well-maintained, and reliable infrastructure to move goods and people and power our economy. TMACOG is eager to work with Senator Brown and others to move funding plans forward and rebuild our aging infrastructure,” said Tim Brown, President, TMACOG.
“There are broad gaps between what cities can afford and aging infrastructure requiring major capital investment. We thank Senator Brown for his willingness to work with his colleagues in Congress and with the new administration to find a federal mechanism to support needed infrastructure improvements in Toledo, in Ohio, and throughout our nation,” said Hicks-Hudson.
Ohio has one of the nation’s largest interstate systems and a major public transit network that would benefit from nationwide investment in infrastructure.
- Ohio has the nation’s fourth largest interstate system with 6,700 lane miles.
- Ohio’s public transportation agencies serve more than 300,000 passengers every weekday.
- Nearly a quarter of Ohio’s bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.
- An estimated 109,000 Ohioans work in highway construction in the state.
- An estimated $14 billion will need to be spent to keep Ohio’s wastewater systems up to date over the next 20 years.
Brown highlighted several priorities for Ohio that could be addressed through the new proposal:
The plan would apply Buy America to all taxpayer-funded public works and infrastructure projects to ensure that American tax dollars support American manufacturing and domestic jobs.
Fixing Ohio Roads and Bridges
The plan calls for $210 billion for road and bridge repairs and $200 billion for a Vital Infrastructure Program (VIP), which would direct money toward projects of critical national significance.
Brown has long fought for the repair of the Brent Spence Bridge in Cincinnati, which President Trump has promised to replace. In the 2015 transportation package, Brown successfully fought to include a provision that create a new competitive grant program to fund major infrastructure projects, like Brent Spence Bridge.
Updating Outdated Sewer Systems
The plan calls for $110 billion to modernize outdated water and sewer systems.
For several years, Brown has worked on legislation that would provide communities with grants to help make needed updates to combined sewer overflow systems. This would protect Lake Erie and other drinking water from untreated waste and ensure that ratepayers do not face costly rate hikes. According to a recent report to Congress, Ohio needs a more than $14 billion investment in its clean water systems over the next 20 years.
Improving Public Transportation
The plan calls for $130 billion to replace and expand rail and bus systems.
As ranking member of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Development Committee – which oversees public transit – Brown has worked to boost federal funding for public transit. Ohio’s public transportation agencies serve more than 300,000 passengers every weekday. Sixty percent of Ohio’s buses will need to be replaced over the next 10 years, an expense of $750 million. Cleveland’s rail system alone would require $400 million to replace its fleet of rail cars and repair its tracks.
Eliminating Blight & Lead Hazards
The plan includes $100 billion to address affordable housing challenges, eliminate blighted properties that bring down local property values, and remediate lead hazards that put children at risk of lead poisoning.
Brown has lead efforts to protect Ohio children from lead exposure and worked to boost funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for monitoring and remediation.
Brown has advocated for funding to preserve and create affordable housing and worked to strengthen the Low Income Housing Tax Credit.
Rebuilding America’s Schools
The plan includes $75 billion to help modernize America’s schools without burdening local taxpayers.
Brown has worked on legislation to give schools the ability to make needed renovations, technology updates, and repairs.