- The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) announced Tuesday it will spend $2.35 billion on almost 1,000 road and bridge projects across the state this season, according to an ODOT press release.
- ODOT officials said 90% of every dollar the agency invests this year is going toward repairing and maintaining its infrastructure. The agency said it will replace 5,645 miles of pavement this year and work on 1,040 bridges. Last year, the ODOT spent $2.3 billion on roads and highways, completing work on almost 1,100 projects.
- Ohio has the fourth largest interstate system by lane miles, and the ODOT said it is responsible for the upkeep of 43,211 miles of roads and 14,095 bridges. Ohio officials said the state's transportation system is their most valuable man-made asset and, since 2011, it has invested $16.4 billion across almost 8,000 projects.
According to ODOT, highway construction is usually funded through a biennial transportation budget bill. For fiscal years 2018 and 2019, appropriations totaled about $5.6 billion, potentially leaving roughly the same amount available for road and bridge projects next year.
Ohio is not alone in crafting road and bridge maintenance and construction programs worth billions of dollars. Indiana is planning the sixth and final piece of Interstate 69, which is projected to cost $1.6 billion. The 26-mile stretch of interstate will take six years to build and will see the repair or replacement of 35 bridges, the building of 39 new bridges and construction or replacement of 13 overpasses and underpasses.
In October, West Virginia announced its own multibillion-dollar infrastructure program after state voters authorized an amendment to the state constitution that allows the state to issue road bonds. The near $3 billion infrastructure upgrade and repair program will be carried out in phases, the first of which will see $260 million of federal GARVEE (Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicle) bonds pay for 13 interstate projects and the construction of 18 replacement bridges.
GARVEE bonds are backed by future federal highway funds. Earlier this year, Louisiana announced plans to use $600 million of these bonds to pay for its own highway projects. However, this will address only a very small portion of the state's $13.9 billion backlog of road and bridge work.