Senator Hoagland speaks on the floor of the Ohio Senate, Wednesday, in favor of his legislation, which would provide significant funding for local infrastructure projects.

COLUMBUS—The Ohio Senate approved legislation today, sponsored by Senator Frank Hoagland (R-Mingo Junction), making significant infrastructure investments in local communities throughout the state.

"The condition of our roads and bridges is an ongoing concern for southeast Ohio," said Senator Hoagland. "Investing in local bridge projects helps to support economic development and makes Ohio's roadways safer for the traveling public."

Ohio has the most bridges of any state, except Texas, with more than 26,000 structures. In 2015, the American Road and Transportation Builders Association estimated that more than 1,800 of Ohio's bridges are structurally deficient, with another 4,200 deemed functionally obsolete.

Created by executive action in October of 2013, the Ohio Bridge partnership Program has invested approximately $138 million for repairing and replacing more than 200 bridges statewide. The program is set to expire at the end of June 2017. 

Bridges must meet the following criteria to be eligible for funding: be more than 20 feet in length; be deemed structurally deficient; must currently be open and carrying vehicular traffic; and must not be currently funded by other sources. 

Senate Bill 6 now goes to the House of Representatives for further consideration.

$7.8 Billion Investment in State Highway System

The Senate also approved legislation today investing $7.8 billion to fund the construction, maintenance and safety of the state's transportation system. The Ohio Department of Transportation estimates that the budget will support and create tens of thousands of jobs over the next two years. 

"Well-maintained roads and bridges are an important consideration for companies seeking to expand their operations and create jobs here in Ohio," said Hoagland. "This budget invests in critical infrastructure and provides additional dollars for counties and municipalities."

Passed by the Senate with unanimous, bipartisan support, House Bill 26 provides funding for the Ohio Department of Transportation, Department of Public Safety, Public Works Commission and Development Services Agency.

"This bill makes critical investments in infrastructure, improving roads and bridges throughout the state of Ohio," said Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina). "The bill also makes improvements in government efficiency and includes key changes to make Ohio a more attractive place to do business."

Among the bill's provisions included in the Senate-passed version:

  • Additional Funding to Local Governments: Allocates an additional $48 million in funding over the biennium from the existing motor fuel tax revenue to counties and municipalities for the improvement of local roads and bridges. This is above the $124 million proposed by the Administration.
     
  • Bringing Business Back to Ohio: Reduces the registration fee for high-volume, commercial vehicle fleets, encouraging this business to stay in Ohio, resulting in more job opportunities and economic development in Ohio's trucking and commercial vehicle industry. It also modernizes and streamlines the current registration process.
     
  • Enhanced Consumer Protections: Requires any entity other than the Registrar of Motor Vehicles to use a prominent disclaimer about fees charged for services that are already provided by authorized local registrars and the state-provided website.
     
  • Increasing Efficiency: Allows townships and municipal corporations to enter into agreements to share services as it relates to maintenance, repair and the improvement of their roads by creating joint road districts.
     
  • More Funding for Public Transit: At least $33 million per year will be invested in public transit options across the state. The bill also directs an additional $15 million from an existing emissions settlement towards public transit vehicles powered by clean energy.


House Bill 26 now proceeds to the House of Representatives for concurrence.

 
 
 
  
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