WASHINGTON, DC (WDTN) – Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley and U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman at the signing ceremony for the infrastructure plan in Washington D.C. on Monday, November 15.

This bill passed the Senate in August and has now passed the House of Representatives. It will be signed into law today by President Biden.

Rob Portman spoke at the ceremony before Biden signed the bill

Whaley attended not only as the Dayton Mayor but also as the president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

“We’re really excited about finally, after three administrations seeing a federal infrastructure plan,” Whaley said. “So for mayors across the country, you know we wanted it done yesterday. We’re ready for it to be signed, and let’s get to work.”

Whaley said she is ready to see the funds put into action on a local level in projects such as broadband internet to rural areas, bridges and road construction, and expanding the reach of Amtrak railway systems

“We are the heart of it all, but Amtrak stops at Youngstown and doesn’t go across the state. And so the opportunity for us to be able to compete for Amtrak dollars and really connect the country, as well as our big cities in Ohio will be a big opportunity,” Whaley said.

In addition to roads, bridges and broadband, new Amtrak lines throughout the state are a priority of several of Ohio’s top law makers. Several transportation advocacy groups say today’s signing should be good news for all Ohioans. All Aboard Ohio has been advocating for more transportation options throughout the Buckeye State for several decades. They say making transportation a priority will likely increase jobs as well.

“It’s pretty well proven that if people have a good rich environment of transportation near them, then they will flock to the area, they will want that option,” said All Aboard Ohio Executive Director Stu Nicholson.

Montgomery County Engineer Paul Gruner says 60 bridges across Ohio are in critical condition, including the Riverside Bridge in the City of Dayton. Until the funds arrive, Gruner says they will start drawing up plans for the county.

“We’re anticipating that it will be distributed through the usual Federal Highway Funding programs so Miami Valley Regional Planning Commissions share would increase by 300-percent which is around $3-to-$4 million which will be distributed over a five-year period,” said Gruner.

Gruner estimated that it will take several months to organize and distribute funds and possibly several more until projects start.

The bill was signed at approximately 4:25 on Monday, November 15. You can watch the event here at WDTN.com