Sherrod Brown promotes highway bill

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Sherrod Brown promotes highway bill

Dayton Daily News – A U.S. senator and a West Carrollton restaurant owner urged lawmakers to soon pass a bipartisan federal transportation bill they said is critical to expedite Interstate 75 improvements and the success of Ohio businesses near them.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and El Meson proprietor Bill Castro said in a news conference Saturday that if Congress doesn’t come to a resolution on the highway bill before it expires June 30, work could stop or slow down, affecting businesses and threaten jobs across the state.

A $27 million reconfiguration of the I-75 and South Dixie Drive/Central Avenue exit – Exit 47 – over the past year has, Castro said, made travel to the 50-employee restaurant difficult.

He said business has decreased about 50 percent since the reconfiguration started.

More than 400 jobs on the I-75 modernization project are at stake if the highway bill fails, Brown said.

The project will widen I-75 to three lanes in both directions to ease traffic flow and replace bridges to improve safety.

While a temporary bill was passed more than 100 days ago with bipartisan support in the Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives has failed to act on a long-term extension, Brown said.

Unless a long-term bill is authorized, the state could lose more than $1.39 billion and more than 50,000 jobs, he said.

Brown is optimistic legislators in the U.S. House will pass the bill.

A package on the bill is expected to be completed this week, according to the U.S. House web site.

“Even with some people wanting to play politics, you’ve got a lot of workers, you’ve got a lot of contractors, you’ve got a lot of construction people and businesses that are pushing both parties to do this,” Brown said.

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