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Ohio River bridge toll bill passes Ohio House

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- The Ohio House has passed legislation that would allow tolls on a bridge that will be reconstructed over the Ohio River.

Sponsors say the bill passed Wednesday was necessary to pave the way for the new bridge to handle traffic over the river on Interstate 71/75 between Cincinnati and Covington, Kentucky.

The bill would give the state Department of Transportation authority to implement electronic tolling. The measure now goes to the Ohio Senate.

The 51-year-old Brent Spence Bridge carries about 172,000 vehicles daily. The reconstructed bridge would more than double its capacity and address safety and traffic concerns. Those concerns have caused the bridge to be labeled "functionally obsolete" by the National Bridge Inventory.

Republican state Rep. Ross McGregor of Springfield says the bill passed with bipartisan support.

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