Hamilton takes next step for possible North Hamilton Crossing traffic fix

Hamilton officials took the next step Monday toward the proposed North Hamilton Crossing, which they hope can alleviate east-west traffic congestion through the city in the coming years.

Officials chose national engineering firm Stantec to develop a study necessary for the project. The company may be paid about $1 million, although officials are still working out the precise scope of work Santec will perform.

The company will perform a feasibility study, create preliminary engineering and develop cost estimates for the project that could cost $75 million or more. Earlier estimates placed the cost at between $150 million and $200 million.

“The study will begin in 2020,” said Dan Corey, director of the Butler County Transportation Improvement District.



The consultants will evaluate several potential routes for the proposed bypass north of the central business corridor of High and Main streets.

The crossing project would ease traffic strain cause by the the immense Spooky Nook Sports Champion Mill indoor sports complex and convention center, on which construction continues. Other changes have had a more immediate focus.

Crews for Hamilton last week began building a new dedicated right-turn lane that will make it easier for westbound traffic on the High-Main bridge to turn onto North B Street, where Spooky Nook will be located. The turn lane should be finished in about two weeks. The sports complex is to be finished in December of 2021.

“We hope the preferred alignment will be determined in less than a year,” Corey said.

During that selection work, “Public involvement will involve public meetings through the process, and the general public will have ample opportunities to weigh in and provide their thoughts,” Corey said.

That can make a difference in where the new route goes, he said.

“I have been on projects where the public has weighed in, and has changed the outcomes of the projects,” Corey said.

Stantec, which has an office in Sharonville, was chosen from among six national teams.

“This was going to be a large consultant contract, and therefore there was a lot of effort put into this interview process and letter-of-interest process that we went through, Corey said. “We appreciated all the ingenuity that went into that process from all the consultants.”

Hamilton Director of Engineering Rich Engle, who participated in the selection process, said Stantec was the company with which officials felt most comfortable.

“I’m pleased we were able to collaborate and have an intergovernmental agreement with the Butler County TID once again,” Engle said. “That proved very successful in our South Hamilton Crossing project, and we’re looking forward to having similar success on the North Hamilton Crossing project.”

Aside from construction of the turning lane onto B Street, another way Hamilton officials are trying to ease traffic congestion is through a sophisticated system of integrated traffic signals through the city that can detect heavy traffic and make adjustments in real time.

North Hamilton Crossing will be complex because it will include a bridge that will replace the century-old Black Street Bridge and likely another over the CSX railroad tracks, as well as a highway connecting to Ohio 129 near the eastern edge of Hamilton.

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