Funding bill important for bridge projects

Keeping any sort of structure in good condition requires regular maintenance and, on occasion, replacement of worn-out components. Ensuring money is available to do that can be a challenge, but it is prudent financial management.

That, in essence, appears to be the rationale for a bill introduced in the Ohio state Senate by Sen. Frank Hoagland (R-Mingo Junction).

A few years ago, state officials recognized many of the state’s highway bridges were in alarmingly bad shape. The Bridge Partnership Program was established, with $120 million in Ohio Department of Transportation money, to help local governments replace some of the bridges. More than 200 have been identified for work through the BPP.

Hoagland has introduced a bill to continue providing state funds for the program, which is scheduled to expire at the end of this year.

He is absolutely right in taking the long view of maintaining local bridges. They will not stop deteriorating once the BPP ends.

Hoagland’s bill ought to be enacted to ensure a steady stream of state funding is available to help local governments with bridge projects throughout Ohio. Keeping the BPP funded could save money in the long run.