The Ohio Department of Transportation and Governor Mike DeWine have opened the application for the Local Major Bridge Program. This ODOT program allows local municipalities to apply for state funding for bridges with large deck areas. The program will provide up to 95% of the construction and engineering costs for these bridges. However, the funding is capped at a maximum of $20 million per project.
In April, Governor DeWine increased the funding available for these bridge repairs. He added $47.5 million per year to the state’s budget for bridges. This budget change was made possible by the passing of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
DeWine also changed the criteria that allowed bridges to qualify for funding. This increased the pool of eligible bridges from 54 to 238. In order to qualify, the bridges must have a minimum deck area of 15,000 square feet and be structurally deficient. Movable bridges also qualify, regardless of deck area.
Municipalities can apply for funding online. The online application will close on October 1st. The state will announce the projects that will receive funding by January of next year.
The Local Major Bridge Program will help repair bridges all over Ohio.
ODOT released a list of potentially eligible bridges in May of this year. The list includes 10 bridges that were currently eligible at the time, along with hundreds of others that may become eligible soon. Every one of the 12 ODOT districts had a bridge on the larger list.
Of the bridges that ODOT identified as being presently eligible, six are in ODOT District 4. This district serves much of northeastern Ohio, including Akron and Canton. The bridge that most needs repair work is Cuyahoga County’s West 150th Street Bridge. Not only did this bridge have the largest deck area at over 44,000 square feet, but it also had the lowest sufficiency rating at 28.
While this funding will be renewed annually, it’s clear that ODOT has its work cut out for it. Ohio has tons of bridges, and many need significant repairs. The agency will have significant work to do to maintain these bridges going forward.