Hamilton seeks funds for 2 potential west side roundabouts that will be next to each other

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Hamilton is backing a Butler County Transportation Improvement District project that would be considered part of the North Hamilton Crossing project but is needed regardless if the multi-year, multi-million dollar project proceeds.

City staff asked City Council on Wednesday to support the TID’s grant application with the Ohio Kentucky Indiana (OKI) Regional Council of Governments to construct back-to-back roundabouts at the Northwest Washington Boulevard and West Elkton Road intersection and the West Elkton and North B Street intersection.

The application for the OKI Surface Transportation Block Grant is seeking $5.9 million with the city’s share being nearly $1.57 million. If approved, the project could be considered part of the local match for the North Hamilton Crossing (NHX) project. The city plans to announce next month its two or three preferred NHX routes.

The funding, however, wouldn’t be appropriated until 2027.

Hamilton Assistant Director of Engineering Allen Messer said the back-to-back roundabouts were the best option.

“They’ll essentially function as a single intersection,” he said. “It’s referred to as a barbell-type design with the two roundabouts and a small segment of roadway between them.”

A single roundabout would have been fiscally unfeasible due to the amount of property needed and construction costs in order to stabilize the intersection.

“This is the cleanest solution, and we believe the most effective,” he said.

A detailed design of the two roundabouts, Messer said, would be determined once it gets closer to the project timeline.

While this would be considered part of the North Hamilton Crossing project, Messer said it’s not contingent on it proceeding.

“In our public input, we’ve received a lot of comments about the need for improvements to those intersections,” Messer said. “The city and the county have both been contemplating it for a while. Even if the North Hamilton Crossing project were to never move forward, this would be a valid standalone project.”

Whether the river crossing for North Hamilton happens there or farther south, the current and future demands of the roadway warrant its construction.

The N.W. Washington Boulevard/West Elkton Road intersection has a traffic count of around 11,000 cars a day, and the West Elkton Road/North B Street intersection is closer to 15,000 cars a day. But with the growth of that area and the increasing use of the Spooky Nook complex, Messer said, “those numbers are only going to increase, with or without North Hamilton Crossing.”

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