Butler County’s newest roundabout on track to open later this summer

Despite this being Butler County’s second-wettest year on record, Fairfield’s first modern roundabout is still on pace to open later this summer.

Construction of the roundabout at Gray and River roads started after the Memorial Day holiday, and despite recent rains, the construction crew told the Journal-News they were able to work through much of the weather.

City engineer Ben Mann said the project “is starting to take shape” as the dirt outline of the roundabout is visible.

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“The contractor has worked through and around much of the rain and is on schedule,” Mann said. “Utility relocations are running behind but they haven’t held up the contractor too much.”

The project has re-routed traffic through the heavily traveled road, but Mann said the road will “open well before when school starts back up in late August.”

Fairfield City School is set to open for the 2019-20 school year on Aug. 21.

City Council approved the roundabout construction contract with Hamilton-based W.G. Stang in April. The company was one of 10 bidders for the near-$600,000 project. The Ohio Public Works Commission is funding 57 percent of the project.

Duke Energy will install and maintain the lighting for the roundabout, according to the city-approved contract.

The roundabout is designed as a traffic-calming device as improvements and recreation expansions are underway along River Road.

The city is expecting more traffic at Marsh Park as non-motorized boating will be allowed on its fishing lake as of July 1, and the city’s dog and multi-use park is slated to open later this summer.

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Marsh is just north of the roundabout and the dog/multi-use park is just south of it.

The roundabout, designed by The Kleingers Group, will also serve as an extension of the Great Miami River Trail through Marsh Park, which will cross River Road. The roundabout is similar to the modern roundabouts constructed by the Butler County Engineer’s Office. However, this will be a three-way roundabout as opposed to the traditional four-way roundabouts.

While rain hasn’t delayed work on the roundabout, it has on the dog/multi-use park which will feature a trailhead for the Great Miami River Trail.

Fairfield Parks and Recreation Director Tiphanie Howard said there had never been an established timeline for the construction of the new park — mainly because crews were tearing into virgin wooded parkland along the river — but “we’re still on target for late summer.”

Howard said when utility subcontractors begin laying down electric and plumbing lines, “that’s always a good sign because we can get a harder timeline.”

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