Butler County bridge will be replaced

Butler County has approved $2.85 million for a new bridge in Milford Twp. and patching some subdivisions and county roads.

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The county awarded bids to fix various subdivision roads in Hanover, Liberty, Ross and West Chester townships and several county roads. Engineer’s spokesman Chris Petrocy said the road work, which should start in a couple weeks, will not close roads.

“We never really close roads to do resurfacing,” Petrocy said. “There may be some delays and you’ll have flaggers, typically, when you encounter a paving operation. But paving is something that generally can be done under traffic.”

Butler County Engineer Greg Wilkens was able to secure almost all of the $2.1 million cost for the Lanes Mill Road bridge replacement in Milford Twp. The county qualified for federal funding by using what is known as “Design-Build” where the contractor designs and builds the structure. Wilkens said the federal grant is covering 95 percent of the cost.

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The engineer said this type of construction model has been used in the road construction business for years, but the federal government still encourages its use, by backing projects with funding.

“It delivers products a little quicker, that’s what one of the major principles was,” Wilkens said. “We generally like it from the standpoint that our engineering costs are included in the grant program.”

Wilkens said the Lanes Mill Road bridge is probably about 30 years old but needs replacing, even though they like to stretch the life of these structures out to about 50 years.

“We had to reduce the load limit and the box beam we’ve watched over the years has started to deteriorate a little faster,” he said.

MORE: Major Cincinnati Dayton Road project starts soon

The bridge replacement will require a full road closure, but construction isn’t scheduled to begin until the fall with completion scheduled for next year.

The bridge project came in about $600,000 under the estimate and the road patching contracts were $122,790 over estimates. Petrocy said this is par for the course.

“The capital improvements estimates are early on in the year. They are, with the exception of some projects, ball park estimates…,” Petrocy said. “Typically, the engineer’s estimate with final tabulations for materials, labor, etc., have not yet been finalized.”

The county engineer has a $34 million budget this year for major road work like the $7.8 million Cincinnati Dayton Road — the contract was awarded to Barrett Paving Materials, Inc. — widening project that is set to start June 14. That project involves widening the road to four lanes from West Chester Road through Olde West Chester to Interstate 75.

Decorative street lamps, side walks, a pocket park and other amenities are also in the plans.

The first major project of the construction season to come to fruition was the new Beckett and Smith roads roundabout that opened last month.

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