Columbus, Ohio (AP) -- Ohio has awarded contracts for the first 17 highway projects getting money from President Barack Obama's economic stimulus package.
The $17 million in projects include work on local roads, highways and bridges across the state, including the replacement of a bridge on state route 61 in northern Ohio's Erie County.
Work on the projects could begin in June.
The State Transportation Department received $774 million in stimulus money.
Under federal rules, Ohio must authorize half of the money -- about $327.5 million -- by June 29, and the remaining by March 1, 2010.
So far, the Federal Highway Administration has signed off on about $160 million for Ohio projects.
States that meet the deadlines can compete for money lost by states that fail to meet the requirements.
(Copyright 2009 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)