Toledo getting state money to pay for roadwork - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Toledo getting state money to pay for roadwork

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The sub- freezing weather did not do Toledo's roads any favors, this winter.  Those roads need fixing fast but that costs a lot of money.

The city needs to find some funding sources to help pave your roads and  the State of Ohio is one place to turn.  Grants will help the city pay for seven road projects even though there are many more roads that need to be fixed.

No matter where you turn in Toledo you'll find chewed up pavement, streets that need new asphalt or complete reconstruction.

But that work costs money.  For instance, work on Airport Highway will cost $281,190.

Along Summit Street, $989,716.

Another $595,700 along Central Avenue.

Three-point-one million dollars in repairs, overall, paid for with state grants and loans.

Doug Stephens with the city's Engineering Services department says, "This is a grant that is free money and then the loans are zero-percent interest for 10-years."

Road projects need to be done all over the city.  But Toledo's structural budget deficit has meant lawmakers raided the capital improvement budget--used to pay for road work--for $14 Million each of the last two years.  That is money that cannot be used to fix city streets.

That reality makes state monies more important.

Curbs and sidewalks are expensive to rebuild.

And with city's departments cutting back on budgets, directors need to turn to the state for road dollars.

Toledo Mayor D. Michael Collins (D) says directors "are going to have to increase their volume of dollars coming into the city in grants."

But Toledo competes with other Ohio cities for that money so it is never guaranteed.

Busy roads like Central Avenue get priority over residential streets.  But even if a sidestreet gets repaired this year, it may not see work again for decades.

Stephens says, "Right now, we are on a funding cycle of every 49 years hitting a roadway."

That means a resurfacing on your street in 2014 won't happen again until 2063.

It is strictly a money issue that won't get better until Toledo solves it's Structural deficit.

So the work on seven projects starts Spring 2015 and you'll see a lot of orange barrels.  It is when you *don't see* the barrels that progress will likely have stopped.

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