Ohio law authorizes transportation plan, Brent Spence Bridge funding

June 13, 2022

Keith Goble

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A new Ohio law authorizes the use of nearly $700 million for transportation purposes. Funding for the Brent Spence Bridge Corridor Project also is included.

Gov. Mike DeWine has signed into law a bill that includes a provision to designate more than $672 million awarded to the state for highway construction via the federal infrastructure law. Another $18 million in federal funds will be designated for transit purposes.

Brent Spence Bridge

Previously HB338, the new law includes funding for renovation of the Brent Spence Bridge. Specifically, the state’s transportation director would be authorized to award design/build contracts of up to $1.5 billion to renovate the Cincinnati-area bridge.

The amount is an expansion over current authority to award contracts of up to $1 billion

The $2.8 billion Brent Spence Bridge Corridor Project includes a new bridge over the Ohio River alongside the existing bridge. Widening work on nearby roadways in Ohio and Kentucky also is included in the project.

The governors of both states have applied for $1.6 billion in federal funding for the bridge that carries Interstates 71 and 75 over the Ohio River.

DeWine said the project would ease supply-chain delays and traffic congestion between Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.

“Both Ohio and Kentucky are dedicated to working together to keep this vital national freight corridor open and moving, and we are optimistic that the U.S. Department of Transportation will also see the significant national importance of this project and approve our request for $1.6 billion in federal assistance that would make companion bridge project a reality,” DeWine said in a news release.

Delinquent tolls

A separate provision permits the Ohio Turnpike Commission to establish reciprocity agreements with other states to recoup lost revenue from nonpaying out-of-state drivers.

Ohio acted early this year to permit the commission to work with the state’s Bureau of Motor Vehicles to require Ohio vehicle owners to pay any delinquent tolls. Payment for delinquent tolls would be required to register affected vehicles.

HB338 authorizes Ohio to refuse applications or transfers from out-of-state residents for motor vehicle registration until tolls owed are paid.

The Department of Public Safety is permitted to enter into reciprocal agreements with other states for enforcement of toll violations.

“It is sometimes difficult to enforce toll violations committed by out-of-state drivers if those drivers ignore the toll invoices and there is no additional enforcement mechanism in place,” according to a bill analysis by the nonpartisan Legislative Services Commission. “Agreements between states to enforce toll violations committed by their residents in another state may potentially reduce those violations.”

CDLs

One more provision covers commercial driver’s licensing for current and former military members.

Specifically, the Registrar of Motor Vehicles is required to adopt rule authorizing the waiver of the knowledge test that is generally required to obtain a CDL temporary instruction permit for current and former military service members who meet specified criteria. LL

More Land Line coverage of news from Ohio.

 

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Keith Goble has been covering trucking-related laws since 2000. His daily web reports, radio news and “OOIDA’s State Watch” in Land Line Magazine are the industry’s premier sources for information regarding state legislative affairs.