Feds issue emergency funds to repair Ohio overpass

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx recently announced the U.S. has given emergency relief funds to Columbus, Ohio, to repair the damage on the Interstate 70/Interstate 270 overpass.

The funds, which amount to $1 million from the Federal Highway Administration's (FHA) emergency relief fund, will repair damage from a truck fire. The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) accepted these funds to begin the work.

“The department will do everything possible to help ODOT get this bridge back up and running again as soon as possible,” Foxx said. “We know that the I-70/I-270 interchange is heavily used in the region and that the traveling public is anxious to have it reopened.”

A tanker truck transporting 8,000 gallons of ethanol drove beneath the underpass on July 1. The truck overturned and caught fire, closing the two major highways outside of Columbus. As the truck burned underneath a bridge the heat cracked it, compromising the structural steel, melting metal reinforcement bars, and damaging approximately 60 feet of the structure. An additional three ramps joining I-70 and I-270 were also closed due to the damage.

“Thousands of commuters and businesses in central Ohio rely on this vital link every day to get to jobs and transport their goods and products,” acting FHA administrator Gregory Nadeau said. “These initial funds are a down payment on additional resources to help restore this key connector.”

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