Southern Ohio left out again?Published 10:45am Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Late last week, Ohio Gov. John Kasich announced that, starting in 2014, the Ohio Department of Transportation will begin working to help counties and cities repair or replace bridges.
But there were some notable omissions from the plan.
Of the 40 bridges slated for 2014, none of those are located in the Lawrence, Scioto, or Gallia counties.
This leaves Lawrence County’s leaders, along with city and village officials, uncertain yet again whether they will be included.
The funding for these projects will come from the progress made over the last few years with expense reductions by ODOT combined with leveraged funding from the turnpike which is overseen by the Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission.
Both of these initiatives combine to provide $120 million dollars for the repairs and replacement of 200 bridges that will take place over the next three years.
This is a step in the right direction.
With a reduction in funding from the state and federal level over the last several years, the state and ODOT appear to have a plan to help the localities.
This potentially helps ease the burden for counties and cities that have been plagued with infrastructure problems but lack the funding to complete the projects.
But, again, Lawrence County and others in the most rural part of the state were left out in the cold. Unfortunately, no additional plans have been released past those for 2014.
Kasich and other state officials need to remember that southern Ohio is a vital part of the region and its infrastructure is important to the overall health of the Buckeye state.