According to a project schedule posted online, construction work is scheduled to begin in January 2015. Prior to that date, officials will spend 18 months acquiring right of way for the new span.
Moreover, with nearly 70,000 U.S. bridges deemed "structurally deficient" by the Federal Highway Administration, Obama's choice of this one – and traveling 500 miles at taxpayer expense to get there – has drawn criticism for being about much more.
The District of Columbia, for example, has 30 structurally deficient bridges -- a greater percentage of its total than Ohio, according to government data. With more than 11 percent of its daily bridge traffic flowing over deficient bridges, the District also ranks among the top in the country for risk.
"President Obama may think the best way to distract people from the challenges we face is to stand near a bridge in a swing state and pit one group of Americans against another, and hope his critics look bad if they don't go along with him," McConnell said Wednesday. "But I don't think he's fooling anyone."