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Ohio Bridge Partnership Program Guidelines
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St. James Road Bridge in Marion County is available for reuse.

Read the guidelines below or get a PDF version under Downloads.

The Ohio Bridge Partnership Program (OBPP) provides Federal funds to counties and municipalities for roadway bridge replacement projects utilizing either the typical design-bid-build or design-build methods. A funding limit of $1 million per project has been established. Funding awarded through this program may not be used in conjunction with funding awarded through the Municipal Bridge Program. 

ODOT will provide 100% of eligible costs for construction only (including construction engineering, i.e. testing and inspection), up to the specified funding limit. The local entity is responsible for all costs associated with preliminary engineering, environmental studies and documents, final design and right of way.

To be eligible for the Ohio Bridge Partnership Program, the bridge must have a Sufficiency Rating of 80 or less, a General Appraisal rating of 4 or less, be structurally deficient, be owned by a municipality or county and must be open to vehicular traffic. It must also be non-historic, and meet the federal definition of a bridge, i.e. have an NBIS bridge length greater than 20 feet. Further detail on the NBIS bridge length can be found in FHWA’s MT guide link (https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/bridge/mtguide.pdf) on page 73 under item #112. 

The allocation for the Ohio Bridge Partnership Program will be established by ODOT and be administered by the Division of Planning, Office of Local Programs. Currently, the annual budget for this program is $5 million. There are approximately 1,424 bridges that have a municipal owner and 14,666 county owned bridges that meet the Federal Definition of a bridge as described above.  These 16,090 bridges are both on and off Federal-Aid Highways. 

A criteria-based project selection process has been developed to focus on eliminating deficiencies (both on and off Federal-Aid Highways), while keeping within a financial plan that utilizes existing available resources.  Funding of all projects will be linked to defined deficiencies, so each dollar invested results in system improvement.

A scoring system has been established to be used in prioritizing projects.  The scoring criteria includes items currently utilized for traditional funding of bridge projects such as Sufficiency Rating, General Appraisal, Deck Condition Rating, and Legally Posted Bridge Load Limit.  Other categories used are Economic Health and Regional Impact. In addition to this scoring system, a multi-disciplinary team reviews the applications and provides feedback. This feedback is then taken into consideration prior to awards being made. Lastly, whether the county or municipality has been awarded OBPP funds in previous years may also play a factor in the decision to award depending on the amount of funding requested by that year’s applicants.

Scope of project and commitment dates are established and agreed to by the county or municipality, MPO, if applicable, and ODOT, when the project is programmed.  These dates are the milestones for each phase of the project through final inspection.  The number and types of milestones differ as to whether a project is sold and administered by ODOT or by the Local Public Agency (LPA).  ODOT reserves the right to move any project to the end of the selected project list or withdraw funding if commitment dates are missed by the LPA.

Federal law requires that Federally-funded projects conform to the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Historic Preservation Act.  To comply with these laws, projects must have an environmental review to assess and/or mitigate effects on social, economic, and environmental factors.  Any property acquisition must conform to the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Act, as amended.

Eligible Work

Ohio Bridge Partnership Program funds may be used for the following:

  • Bridge Replacement
  • Minimal Approach Work: as necessary and related to the bridge project (general rule of thumb is 50’ on each side)
  • Utility work necessary to complete the project: if the utility lines are on the bridge and it is necessary to the project to move or replace (will not pay for “upgrades” to the current system; e.g. a 30” pipe rather than the existing 24”)

Ineligible items include, but are not limited to:

  • Bridge Rehabilitation
  • Bridge Demolition (without replacement)
  • New Roadway
  • Roadway Improvements: except as necessary to complete the bridge project
  • Upgrades to Existing Utilities
  • Pedestrian Bridges
  • Rail Bridges
  • Contingency costs
  • Right-of-Way
  • Preliminary Engineering
  • Environmental work
  • Design work (if design-build, these costs must be tracked separately)

Application Process

  1. The project solicitation process will begin March 1st of each year.  This annual solicitation process will be for a rolling four-year program (i.e. March 2021 solicitation will be for the FY 2025 program year).  The applicant will complete an application for funds and submit it to the Ohio Bridge Partnership Program Manager by April 15th of each calendar year.  The application form will be made available through the Office of Local Programs’ website.  Along with the completed application, the following information shall be submitted:
    • Project location map *
    • Photographs of project site (limit of 5) *
    • Project scope *
    • Detailed project schedule*
    • Cost estimate that includes all sources of funding by phase and a breakdown of costs for the proposed project*
  2. The application and submitted data will be verified and evaluated by a multi-disciplinary committee comprised of Central Office and District personnel.  The Ohio Bridge Partnership Program Manager will then review and score the applications.
  3. The Program Manager will then select the proposed projects based on merit and availability of Program funds.  It should be emphasized that the scoring process does not require that the Program Manager must fund projects in strict order of their ranking.  The ranking is a means to help the committee generally prioritize projects.  Other factors determined to be relevant may be taken into consideration, such as past project delivery performance, geographic distribution, funding awarded in previous years, and availability of additional funding sources.
  4. Once the projects have been selected, the Ohio Bridge Partnership Program Manager will notify the applicants of the results no later than July 1st.

*These items are required to be submitted with the application. Any applications submitted without these will be deemed nonresponsive and will not be considered for award.  No contingency costs are to be included in the project estimate.

Ohio Bridge Partnership Program Scoring Criteria

The following is the scoring system to prioritize the funding.  The scoring criteria includes items currently utilized for traditional funding of bridge projects such as General Appraisal, Deck Summary, and Legally Posted Bridge Load Limit.  Other categories are Economic Health and Regional Impact for a total maximum score of 100 points.

Category

Maximum Points

1.  Sufficiency Rating

25

2.  General Appraisal

25

3.  Deck Summary

10

4.  Bridge Load Limit

10

5.  Economic Health

10

6.  Regional Impact

10

7.  Additional Factors

10

Total Maximum Score    

 

100


A description and explanation of the scoring criteria is outlined below.

1. Sufficiency Rating

Sufficiency Rating (SR) is a measure of the adequacy of a bridge to meet the needs of the public.  The SR for a bridge is between 0 and 100.  The lower the SR rating for a bridge, the less it meets the needs of the public.  The SR is calculated in AssetWise and can be viewed on the National Bridge Inventory Form.  The calculation in AssetWise can be viewed in FORMS under NBI Calculations by clicking on “Sufficiency Rating Calculation”.   The SR calculation includes: 1. the condition of the bridge, 2. geometry of the bridge, 3. the average daily traffic using the bridge, 4. the detour length, 5. vertical and horizontal clearances, 6. the bridge capacity, and other factors.  

Sufficiency Rating

Points

70 - 80

5

60 - 69

10

50 - 59

15

40 - 49

20

39 and below

25


 2. General Appraisal

General Appraisal (GA) is a composite measure of the major structural items of a bridge, such as beams, piers and abutments.  It is based on the existing condition of the bridge as compared to its as-built condition.  GA is rated from 0-9, with a rating of 5 or more being a bridge in acceptable condition.  The General Appraisal values are kept in the Bridge Inventory database maintained by ODOT.  The General Appraisal from the most recent bridge inspection will be used.        

General Appraisal

Points

1-2

25

3

15

4

5

Due to the significance of General Appraisal to the overall “health” and condition of the bridge, this category has a maximum total point value of 25.

 3. Deck Summary

Deck Summary is a measure of the condition of the floor and wearing surface of the bridge deck.  Deck Summary is rated from 0-9, with a rating of 5 or more being a bridge in acceptable condition.  The Deck Summary values are kept in the Bridge Inventory database maintained by ODOT.  The Deck Summary from the most recent bridge inspection will be used.

Deck Summary

Points

1-2

10

3

8

4

6

5

2

6-9

0

Due to the significance of the Deck Summary to the safety and serviceability of the bridge, this category has a maximum total point value of 10.

 4. Bridge Load Limit

 A Load Posted Bridge on a route will restrict commerce in the area as some trucks are required to detour due to weight restrictions.

Lowest Legal Load Rating Factor

Points

˂ .40

10

0.499 - 0.40

9

0.599 – 0.50

8

0.699 – 0.60

7

0.799 – 0.70

6

0.899 – 0.80

5

1.00 – 0.90

4

>1.0

0

The Bridge Load Limit has a maximum total point value of 10.

 5. Economic Health

This item recognizes that Ohio local governments are not equal in their financial wealth.  To achieve some measure of equity among entities, the level of economic distress at the time of application is evaluated based on the unemployment rate in the county where the project sponsor is located (current rate posted on the Ohio Department of Development website).  The Economic Health factor awards points to local entities having an unemployment rate that is higher than the statewide rate.

Unemployment Rate in Relation to the Statewide Rate

Points

2.1% or greater than statewide rate

10

1.6%-2% greater than statewide rate

8

1.1%-1.5% greater than statewide rate

6

0.6%-1.0% greater than statewide rate

4

0.1 – 0.5% greater than statewide rate

2

equal to or below statewide average

0

 This category has a maximum total point value of 10.

6. Regional Impact

This item accounts for the bridge’s significance and impacts to the area and is based on 2 factors; the Average Daily Traffic (ADT), and the length of the proposed detour during construction.  ADT is the volume of existing traffic on the route annualized to a daily average. The existing ADT should be provided on the application, not an anticipated future ADT.

ADT

Points

500 or greater

10

450 - 499

9

400 - 449

8

350 - 399

7

300 - 349

6

250 – 299

5

200 - 249

4

150 - 199

3

100 - 149

2

50 - 99

1

˂ 50

0


This category has a maximum total point value of 10.

7. Additional Factors

Points in this area will be awarded by the Project Manager based on variable factors such previous project delivery, previous funding awards, bridge location (taking into account schools or businesses in close proximity to the bridge), and any special circumstances described by the applicant.  Special circumstances that the applicant would like to convey to the Program Manager for consideration, must be included within the application submittal.