Senators Sherrod Brown, Rob Portman seeking solution to fix Ohio's crumbling infrastructure

Ohio Repubilcan Sen. Rob Portman (Source: AP Images)
Ohio Repubilcan Sen. Rob Portman (Source: AP Images)

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - In Ohio, nearly 2,000 bridges have been classified as "structurally deficient" and more than 4,500 have been classified "functionally obsolete" – and many of those are in Northeast Ohio, according to a list by the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency.

The question isn't what needs to be done, but who pays for what.

"We have hundreds and hundreds of bridges in Ohio that aren't safe," said U.S. Senator, Sherrod Brown (D-OH).

Motorists likely drive over them every day, but have they stopped to think about the conditions of the roads and bridges?

"Look at when you drive down the street and you hit a pothole and you damage your axle. Look at what that means to you and your car. Look at what happens when a bridge is less than safe, what could happen," Brown said.

For instance, the Center Street bridge has been rated poor, and the cost to rehab is estimated at $2.7 million.

"We've got to do this right," Brown contends.

Senator Brown says he agrees with President Donald Trump that infrastructure needs to be urgently addressed, but Brown has different idea about how it should get done.

"You can't privatize it, give Wall Street the fees and money to do this. You have to invest in money from the federal government," Brown said.

A spokesperson for Republican Senator Rob Portman said, "Rob supports bipartisan efforts to rebuild America's aging infrastructure, especially since so many bridges in Ohio have been classified as functionally obsolete. Rob believes we have a real opportunity to make progress this year and hopes both parties come together on a plan that makes a difference for Ohio and the country."

Senator Brown says even though congress hasn't been able to agree on much in the past year, they can put their differences aside and start work on the bridges soon.

"The timeline is whenever we can do it. I would hope the time line is: let's get this done in the next three months," Brown said.

Here's a list of the structurally deficient bridges in our area, according to the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency:

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