WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced support from several business and transportation organizations in Ohio and around the country for 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.
The following organizations support Brown’s bill:
- American Society of Civil Engineers Ohio Council of Local Sections (ASCE Ohio Council)
- Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber
- Eastgate Regional Council of Governments
- Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC)
- Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA)
- American Society of Civil Engineers
- American Road & Transportation Builders Association
- Associated General Contractors of America
- International Union of Operating Engineers
- National League of Cities
- North America’s Building Trades Union
- Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO
“The $75 billion additional investment, as proposed in the “The Bridge Investment Act,” will provide an opportunity for counties and municipalities with stagnant funding to program bridges for replacement as well as provide a means to fund critical mega projects such as the Brent Spence Bridge,” wrote ASCE Ohio Council.
“An investment of $75 billion through the proposed Bridge Investment Program will address the backlog of current bridge deficiencies and allow state and local bridge owners to use their resources more efficiently,” wrote NOACA.
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.