Five roads in southwest Ohio damaged by recent weather events could be repaired with federal funding. Earlier this week, Governor Mike DeWine declared a state of emergency, which starts the process of applying for relief funding.
Ohio Department of Transportation District 8 Spokesman Brian Cunningham says state engineers will work with the Federal Highway Administration who "can choose to do a field visit. They can issue authorization at that time, or go back to do a more thorough review, and then make a determination."
He says the criteria is "pretty stringent. It has to be pretty bad damage. It has to result in long-term closures. Going out and fixing potholes is not going to meet criteria."
There are four locations in Hamilton County: I-275 near Kilby Road exit; I-275 near Loveland Madeira Road; I-74 near North Bend Road; and I-74 near Colerain-Beekman.
There is one in Clermont County: I-275 north of State Route 32.
While none of those areas have been closed, Cunningham says engineers are watchful. "Depending upon the level of possible problems, that could help to move that project along, with the criteria that's established."
The identified areas do not include Columbia Parkway, which is partially closed because of landslides. "That one could be pursued by the city of Cincinnati, because where that damage occurred is in the jurisdiction of the city," Cunningham says.
The most costly of the five locations is probably I-74 near Colerain-Beekman. Cunningham says that could run up to a couple million dollars to repair.
Thirty-seven counties are included in the governor's declaration, but not all have damage. Cunningham says if they find damage later, they can still apply.
Cunningham says the final decisions will likely come by mid- to late April.