The South Gilmore project as proposed would widen the southbound lanes from just north of Mack Road to just north of Resor Road. The project is scheduled to be bid in 2024. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Fairfield seeking nearly $3.2M for road, trail work: What it would do

City Council on Monday approved the administration to request the funds of the Ohio Kentucky Indiana Regional Councils of Government for a road-widening project and trail extension project, both scheduled to be bid in 2024.

Fairfield is asking OKI to pay for 80 percent of the southbound South Gilmore Road widening project, which equates to nearly $2.5 million. The city is looking into an Ohio Public Works Commission grant to supplement the 20 percent local match and pay $250,000 for the right-of-way acquisition.

The estimated $3.1 million widening project, as proposed, would widen the southbound lanes of South Gilmore Road from just north of Mack Road to just north of Resor Road, said City Manager Mark Wendling.

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“The project is designed to relieve southbound congestion along the route,” he said.

The project will include the addition of a sidewalk along the west side of South Gilmore Road between Mack and Resor roads and from Resor Road north to Planet Drive.

“The inclusion of this sidewalk is supported by the city’s development of Fairfield Connects, the city’s active transportation plan currently in development,” said City Engineer Ben Mann.

Engineering and environmental costs are estimated at $400,000, and will be paid for by the city.

Fairfield is also asking for a $700,000 OKI grant to fund 64 percent of Phase 1 of the Fairfield extension of the Great Miami River Trail. The portion of the trail in Fairfield ends at Waterworks Park on Groh Lane within the city limits, though there are gaps in other parts of Butler County, as well as in neighboring Warren County. But Phase I will build the trail from Marsh Park to the trailhead at FurField Park along the Great Miami River.

The 1.1-mile extension is slated to cost $1.1 million, but Wendling said the city will “work to leverage additional regional partnerships in order to provide support for the project.”

“This phase would allow the path to be accessed directly by a considerable portion of the city’s residential population without driving, connect the trail through Marsh Park to the new dog park and trailhead, and allow for future expansion into Hamilton County,” said Mann.

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The city eventually plans to connect the trail from Waterworks Park to Marsh Park.

The city’s 2016 Marsh Park master plan included plans for a multi-use trail that connects Marsh to the Great Miami River Trail network. The trail is a 75-mile-long network that winds along most of the Great Miami River but also travels through historic downtowns, picnic facilities and parks. While there are still some gaps in the trail, the goal is to have the respective communities build their parts of the path that will eventually see it connect Piqua in northern Miami County to Butler County’s southern border in Fairfield.

Wendling said the city eventually plans to extend the trail to the southern border with Hamilton County.

Engineering for the city’s trail project is estimated at $150,000 and will be paid by the city.

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