Residents have been commenting on social media for some time about the potential Millikin Road interchange at Interstate 75 in Liberty Twp., now they can tell officials their thoughts directly through a virtual open house.
The Liberty Twp. trustees have long said a new interchange is vital for the future of the township for a variety of reasons and it is their top priority. The new virtual open house is live on the township’s website now at: https://publicinput.com/I-75_MillikinRoad. It provides a 10-minute video overview of the project and shows how to navigate four alternatives that range from $33.8 to $27.1 million. Participants are asked to rate the alternatives and provide other feedback.
“The public will play a critical role in our study process by providing local knowledge and feedback that will help inform our decision making,” Trustee Board President Tom Farrell said. “Our team has collected and analyzed a significant amount of data in order to make comprehensive recommendations on how to improve safety and connectivity within the study area — especially as travel patterns change throughout the region — and we need the public to weigh in as we move throughout our process.”
Here are the alternatives, they are numbered but not prioritized:
- Alternative 1: A traditional diamond interchange with a cost of $30.4 million would require a new six-lane bridge over the interstate;
- Alternative 2: A partial cloverleaf interchange at a cost of $33.8 million would require a new five-lane bridge;
- Alternative 3: A “teardrop” interchange at $28.9 million utilizes roundabouts for traffic navigation on the bridge and would require an additional two-lane bridge in tandem with the existing structure;
- Alternative 4: A diverging diamond interchange with a cost of $27.1 million that is identical to the new I-75 exit at Union Centre Boulevard in West Chester Twp. and would require an additional two-lane bridge.
Dan Corey, executive director of the Butler County Transportation Improvement District, told the Journal-News the estimates also include improvements to the intersections at Cincinnati Dayton and Butler Warren roads where they cross Millikin Road. He said part of the tour allows participants to pinpoint and comment exact areas within the project area where they encounter traffic problems now.
The diverging diamond is not only the cheapest alternative but received the highest marks for improving safety, improving traffic congestion, supporting future development and other evaluation criteria.
There are about 700 undeveloped acres slated for commercial development in the Millikin Road area, and the intersection and Cox Road extension to Ohio 63 would open better access to 1,200 acres — which would hold the equivalent of 12 Liberty Centers.
The trustees have said fostering new commercial development is essential to keeping residential taxes lower.
“Our goal and objective for responsible growth is making sure we have a good mix of business and residential so that our residential taxpayers do not have to pay increased taxes,” Farrell said about the 2020 U.S. Census results that show the township grew 18.1% over the past decade.
“It’s not a bad thing to be a bedroom community, it’s not a bad word, but typically bedroom communities come with very, very high taxes because residents cost money, business makes the townships money.”
If the project proceeds it will be phased and officials have estimated it could cost roughly $75 million to improve the entire roadway system in the vicinity of Millikin Road from the Ohio 63 interchange down to Liberty Way. Construction on the first phase that is the subject of the virtual open house could begin in 2026.
Corey said the open house is a critical step in the process and they will take feedback very seriously, not just during the 30-day window the link will be active but throughout the course of the project.
“It’s extremely important to us because we will respond to the comments,” Corey said. “That’s why we need everyone to give us a way to communicate back to them. We will address comments that we are able to address ... We’ll always be accepting comments through the entire process.”