Commissioners approve $5 license fee for Western Hills Viaduct reconstruction

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Hamilton County Commissioners have voted to support an annual $5 Motor Vehicle Registration fee to help pay for the Western Hills Viaduct reconstruction and repair other bridge projects.

Drivers would have to pay the fee when they renew their car registration each year.

The fee will pay the county's share of the local match required to secure state and federal funding.

By state law, the $5 fee may only be used to pay for costs associated with public roads, bridges, viaducts. The fee will not free-up or otherwise make available any funding for other projects or expenditures.

The Western Hills Viaduct reconstruction is estimated to cost over $335 million. The local match required to apply for needed state and federal funding is at least 20 percent of the total cost.

Officials say there is not enough funding from the current county's local revenue sources to pay for its local match share. They say the fee will provide the funding necessary to enable Hamilton County to apply for state and federal funding sooner, accelerating the project by as many as three years and save up to $70 million.

Related: ODOT says Western Hills Viaduct is safe after photos cause alarm on social media

Maintaining the 84-year-old viaduct costs taxpayers $1 million a year.

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