‘A lake every time it rains’: Butler County road getting fixed

A half-century-old flooding problem in Butler County will soon be fixed.

For at least 60 years flood waters have wrecked havoc along Millikin Road between Cincinnati Dayton and Yankee roads, pushing way past the road limits, deluging lawns and basements and stalling cars trying to get through. This week the Butler County commissioners signed off on a $980,279 contract to fix the problem.

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“I’ve got letters in the file from 1956 or so talking about this problem,” Butler County Engineer Greg Wilkens said. “It’s been designed and looked at probably 12 or 15 times in that process, finally to bring it to this conclusion … It’s been a long haul. There’s been 27 iterations of this design to make it work. We finally got there … It’s sure great to see this day come.”

The cog that finally put the project in motion was the new Fieldstone Farms subdivision on the north side of Millikin Road. The developer is creating a detention basin to hold the water that used to pour over the road to the south side and control the release of that water, according to Deputy Engineer Dale Schwieterman. The county is constructing a pipe system under the road to take the water from that basin to an enlarged detention basin at Mother Teresa elementary school on the other side of the road.

Sister Anne Schulz, principal at Mother Teresa, said they haven’t been troubled so much with flooding, but the prolonged project will be a “blessing” for homeowners on Millikin, parents of the 550-plus students at her school, and other drivers.

“I think it’s just great for them to take care of that drainage problem for the people that live here,” she said. “Millikin Road right now … it is a lake every time it rains and it goes over the road and now the road is all bumpy from the damage.”

A grant obtained through the Butler County Stormwater District and a $50,000 contribution from Liberty Twp. will pay for the project.

The drainage project will be done this summer, in conjunction with construction of a new roundabout at Millikin and Yankee roads. Construction is set to begin June 4, according to Schwieterman. The intersection will be closed until the project is finished on or about Aug. 10, depending on the weather.

“There’ll be some disruption,” Schwieterman said. “There are some homes on Jackie and Becky Drive over toward Mother Teresa as well as on Millikin that will be kind of trapped by that closure, so the contractor will provide access for those local residents through the roundabout project … It’s probably only going to be about a week or so that portion for Millikin drainage will be closed.

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