ODOT announces new bridge funding plan

Anthony Wayne Bridge
Anthony Wayne Bridge

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) – The state of Ohio has come up with another way to bring in more money to maintain the state's infrastructure. ODOT has announced a plan that it hopes will generate millions of dollars to help maintain and build bridges across the state.

Bridges like the Veterans Glass City Skyway already get the attention of drivers.

The department of transportation would seek competitive bids from companies and grant naming rights in exchange for payment.

No bridge has been singled out yet, but bridges such as the Anthony Wayne Bridge - also known as the high-level - could be sponsored by your favorite store or restaurant.

ODOT director Jerry Wray says they're thinking outside the box on this to generate revenue.

"Some things should be sacred like our highways and bridges? No, it is not ever going to go back to that I don't think. I think they have started it and that's where we are going. So why not," said Sandy Lewinski, who feels bridge sponsorships are fine.

"Well why wouldn't you? If it is a revenue generator and it is not an obnoxious name. You have Comerica Stadium and every ballpark, everything is named, so if you could pick up a couple of bucks why wouldn't you do it? Don Monroe Bridge, that sounds good to me! Ha ha!" joked Don Monroe, another area resident who likes the idea.

The state is already seeking bids for sponsorships and naming rights for rest stops and welcome centers. That will come in handy since it costs a whopping $30 million to $50 million per year to maintain Ohio's 101 rest stops.

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