Ceremony for long-awaited South Hamilton Crossing set

A dedication ceremony open to the public has been set for 10 a.m. on Nov. 10 to dedicate the long-awaited South Hamilton Crossing project, which will better unite Hamilton’s Ohio 4 area with the area of Miami University’s Hamilton campus and the city’s West Side.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony will happen probably weeks later, when the roadway opens, likely in mid-December.

“The bridge won’t be open on that Saturday for traffic, so we’re going to wait ‘til it’s actually open,” said city Engineer Rich Engle.

The overpass that will carry traffic over the CSX Transportation railroad tracks will be named on Nov. 10 for Hamilton historian and former Journal-News editor Jim Blount, who wrote columns advocating for the roadway and later served on the Butler County Transportation Improvement District, which brought the project to be.

The project broke ground in August 2016. Its completion deadline is Dec. 31, 2018.

The project has been in discussion since at least 1911, when Cincinnati’s William Howard Taft was president.

The new roadway will offer a direct east/west link between Ohio 4 and University Boulevard, offering better access from that area to the Miami campus and nearby Vora Technology Park, and beyond that, the city’s West Side. The highway also will raise the profile of dozens of acres available for development at the city-owned University Commerce Park.

Details of the ceremony remain in flux, but the main aim will be to celebrate the contribution of Blount to the project, said city spokesman Jacob Stone. His wife, Jackie Blount, will be there.

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