STRUTHERS, Ohio (WKBN) – It’s estimated there are 3,200 bridges in Ohio in need of repair. U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, says he has a plan to get them fixed.
Brown was in Struthers Thursday to talk about his Bridge Investment Act. He was joined by local government and community leaders at the more than 100-year-old State Street Bridge to discuss how the legislation will help local communities repair and rebuild bridges and create jobs.
The Bridge Investment Act aims to help communities repair Ohio’s bridges. Brown worked to have this be part of the larger bipartisan infrastructure bill.
“For years, politicians have paid lip service to investing in infrastructure. Now, we are about to see it begin to happen,” Brown said.
According to a report from the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, more than 1,300 of the 3,200 bridges in need of repair are classified as structurally deficient.
Mahoning County alone has almost 300 hundred bridges that will need repairs over time. Mahoning County Engineer Pat Ginnetti says critical infrastructure is important.
“This bridge alone is 121 years old and is the main thoroughfare getting into Struthers. There’s a lot of businesses that take this route. To ensure that this bridge is in the best condition it can be is very important,” Ginnetti said.
Brown said the work will have an immediate impact on the drivers.
“What it means is that people can get to work easier, less congestion and more safely. It means they won’t have bridges out,” Brown said.
He also talked about the jobs that this will bring to the community.
“It makes it more likely that Mayor Cat can bring to this community another new business, a manufacturing company, and those go on for a long, long time,” he said.
More jobs will also bring other benefits.
“We’re also looking to grow the economy. The investment, cleaning up our area, revitalizing our area, means more investment for the economy,” said Jim Kinnick, executive director for Eastgate Regional Council of Government.
The Senate has already passed this act, and it will be voted on in the House of Representatives soon.
Brown hopes the president will sign it by October.