“It’s an exciting day for Hamilton.”
Named after the late Hamilton historian and Journal-News editor Jim Blount, the overpass that will soon extend Grand Avenue west to University Avenue. will free motorists and truck traffic from having to drive over four lanes of railroad tracks.
Blount was a passionate advocate for the overpass, touting it for decades.
Currently the only east-west roadway unimpeded by railroad crossings is Hamilton’s High Street, which employs an often-crowded underpass for motorists seeking to avoid the north-south train passage through the city.
The city’s growing Miami University Hamilton regional campus will now be easier to access, as will another route to the recently announced, $144 million Spooky Nook At Champion Mill development, which is projected to bring more than a million visitors to its location along the Great Miami River.
The overpass will open to traffic at a yet-to-be-announced date in December.
Ohio Senator Bill Coley (R-Liberty Twp.) said the overpass, which city officials had sought for decades and finally were able to finance in part with state funds, “brings safety to the community but it also brings economic development.”
Nearly half the estimated $30 million project was funded through grants, including from the Ohio Department of Transportation’s TRAC program.
Among key agencies that worked for the project were The Butler County TID, the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments and state development officials.