Warren County bridge replacement will close part of Little Miami trail

Cyclists and others who use the Little Miami Scenic Bike Trail in southern Warren County will have some challenges starting this summer as construction of a $22 million bridge replacement begins near the Peters Cartridge Factory development.

Warren County Engineer Neil Tunison said the King Avenue bridge replacement project begins next month linking King Avenue with Grandin Road. People who use the bike trail will find it closed for much of the 22-month construction period, Tunison said.

“There will not be any bike trail detours because there isn’t a good place to detour there,” he said. “The closures will probably happen in the next three months right at the height of cycling season.”

During construction there also will be limited access to the Peters Cartridge factory development during various phases of the project, Tunison said.

The new bridge will continue to have two lanes across the Little Miami River, but the lanes will be widened and will also include safety shoulders in both directions, according to the engineer’s office. Tunison said the new bridge will be built upstream from the current bridge and will also feature a new 10-foot multi-use path that will separate pedestrians from traffic. A tunnel is also being built for a portion of the bike trail that will separate the trail from Grandin Road.

The project also will include Kings Road being redirected to link with the new bridge and eliminating a hairpin turn on the old roadway. A new water line will be installed by the Warren County Water Department during construction, Tunison said.

In addition, the project will have a new parking lot for bike trail users as well as a new roundabout at the intersection of the Peters Cartridge Factory development and parking lot access for the trail. Tunison said a culvert will be replaced in front of the development.

“It’s going to be a busy time there,” he said. “We have a pre-construction meeting in a few weeks to get a few things worked out.”

The project will require three-month closures, at different times, for both King Avenue and Grandin Road so the new bridge can be connected to both roads.

Tunison said the tree clearing will begin in March to begin the project. Construction is projected to be completed by December 2023. The engineer’s office is managing the project and is partnering with the Ohio Department of Transportation, the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments, the Ohio Public Works Commission, the cities of South Lebanon and Mason, and Deerfield Twp.

About 50 miles of the 78-mile Little Miami Scenic Bike Trail, from Hedges Road in Greene County to Terrace Park, is managed by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. ODNR officials said an estimated 1.2 million people use the trail each year.

Other road projects nearby

The Warren County Transportation Improvement District and Deerfield Twp. also will work on the construction of a mini-roundabout at King Avenue and Kings Court, just to the north in Kings Mills.

The $700,000 project also includes improving the curve on King Avenue south of Miami Street so that two larger vehicles can pass safely. Deerfield Twp. is sponsoring the addition of left turn lanes on King Avenue into Kings Mills Elementary School.

Tunison said road improvement projects planned around the Mercy Health Kings Mills Hospital construction site are not expected to begin until fall and should not impact traffic during the 2022 season at Kings Island.

Construction has already started on the $200 million 60-bed hospital medical office complex on the 30-acre site of the former College Football Hall of Fame at the corner of Kings Island Drive and Kings Mills Road. The 172,000 square-foot facility will initially employ 175 to 200 full-time staff and is expected to open in fall 2023.

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