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Council Approves Tax Break, Money For New 5th Avenue Bridge

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WCBE Files
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Columbus City Council last night approved a 9.7 million dollar contract to build a new bridge on West Fifth Avenue over the Scioto River. Columbus Public Service Director Tracie Davies says the bridge north of Marble Cliff will close later this month to begin building a new span that will include bike paths and other amenities.

4.7 million dollars of the project will be funded with grant money. The rest will come from the sale of municipal bonds. A report by a construction industry group says more than 2 thousand Ohio bridges are in need of major upgrades or repairs. The American Road and Transportation Builders Association ranks Ohio as 11th in the nation for its percentage of structurally deficient bridges, at 7 percent. Spokesperson Alison Black says Ohio has more than twice as many structurally deficient bridges in urban areas as in rural areas.

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Black says 61 thousand bridges in the U.S. are considered structurally compromised. Many of those are on interstate highways. Black blames the problem on a lack of sufficient infrastructure funding by the federal government. The report does not specifically mention the Fifth Avenue bridge. Council also approved a 25 percent income tax break for a Cincinnati-based beverage company. G&J Pepsi-Cola Bottlers will get the break for up to 5 years for making its own bottles at a facility it plans to construct on Gibbard Avenue. The city says 14 new jobs will be created.

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