Here’s the status of major Butler County road projects

Butler County Engineer Greg Wilkens says many major construction projects will be completed next month and everything is spot-on budget-wise.

Wilkens’ capital project list totalled $34.4 million this year and one of the bigger projects, the $7 million widening of Ohio 747, should be complete in September. Drivers will however need to steer clear of Princeton Road now because that project is about to get underway Aug. 6.

The road improvement project will span about 1.8 miles from Jayfield Drive to Ohio 747 and will be constructed in two phases in Fairfield and Liberty townships.

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Improvements include widening the existing lanes and paved shoulders, adjusting the roadway profile, flattening several vertical crests and installing edgeline rumble strips. Raised pavement markers, new signage and guardrail will also be installed.

The $1.9 million project is slated for completion by year’s end but weather could interfere with the timetable.

“It all depends on how much construction-friendly weather we get later this fall,” Wilkens noted. “The road will be reopened over the winter even if crews need to finish up in the spring.”

The only big hiccup so far on the numerous projects happened two weeks ago when the contractor severed an underground cable during work on the major Cincinnati Dayton Road widening project.

“Sometimes when it’s underground and even when they mark it it’s not exactly, exactly correct,” Wilkens said. “When you’re driving pile and excavating, it could have just been an error, accidents happen… You surely try to avoid that, it’s an expensive mistake.”

A number of properties, including the township offices — police and fire dispatching was unaffected — were without phones and internet for about 20 hours, according to township spokeswoman Barb Wilson. She said projects of this magnitude are bound to cause some issues. The township and engineer’s office hold regular meetings — the last Friday of each month at 8 a.m. — to give those impacted an opportunity to get project updates and voice concerns.

“A multi-year year project along a busy corridor like Cincinnati-Dayton Road is bound to create inconvenience on all fronts and requires a certain degree of patience from all involved,” Wilson said.

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The $7.8 million project includes widening the road to four lanes, new sidewalks and decorative lighting, two mid-block crosswalks, replacing one bridge and widening another and adding a pocket park at Station Road. The only road closure will be on Station Road where the bridge needs replacing. The project is slated for completion in 2019.

The new roundabouts under construction at Hamilton Mason and LeSourdesville West Chester roads — that straddles Liberty and West Chester townships — and Millikin and Yankee roads in Liberty Twp., the Myers Road bridge replacement in Madison Twp. and the Millikin Road drainage fix are all expected to be completed on time in mid-August.

One major project that had drivers detouring for almost a year was the Yankee Road widening and roundabout project.

The $4 million project widened Yankee Road between Dutchland Parkway and Princeton Road from two to three lanes — one lane in each direction with a dedicated center left turn lane. A roundabout was constructed at the Yankee and Princeton roads intersection. Contractors replaced one bridge and widened another and adjustments were made to the roadway’s vertical profile.

Engineer’s spokesman Chris Petrocy said once the project was nearly complete some residents asked if the speed limits should be reduced. A speed study said no.

“People tend to think if you’re going from a narrow road with no berms and drop offs it forces people to slow down,” Petrocy said. “Then when suddenly you make the road nice and smooth and your lanes are wider and you’ve got berms, people are going to fly. That’s not necessarily true.”

Still on the horizon for this year are the Tylersville Road ramps to Interstate 75 — scheduled to start in September. The biggest project next year will be the $13 million face lift for Union Centre Boulevard in West Chester.

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