One of county’s most dangerous intersections to be fixed

Fairfield to spend $11.5M in capital projects this year

Fairfield City Council received an update this week on the city’s 2016-2020 capital improvement program, which looks at projects on the books. While the projects scheduled out in 2018 to 2020 aren’t set in stone, those coming up this year are more than likely set to happen, said Mary Hopton, the city’s finance director.

While there are a few annual projects, such as the city’s street paving project and lane re-striping, one of the biggest projects is realigning the South Gilmore Road/Holden Boulevard and Ohio 4 intersection just south of Jungle Jim’s and west of Fairfield High School.

That project is being mostly funded by a $2.6 million grant the city received from the Ohio Department of Transportation in 2012, according to Fairfield Works Director Dave Butsch.

Since receiving that grant, the city had engineering plans drawn up in 2013 and 2014, and acquired the necessary right-of-way last year, he said.

Construction is set to begin this summer, which includes adding two through lanes from Holden to South Gilmore, according to Butsch.

The roadway, Butsch said, has a bit of a “jog” on the South Gilmore Road side of the intersection. The project will “smooth that out” to make it safer, he said.

The intersection is “one of the highest” accident areas for the volume of traffic that travels through it, Butsch said.

The average daily traffic is more than 13,600 vehicles along South Gilmore, nearly 13,900 along Holden Boulevard and nearly 35,000 along Ohio 4, according to city records.

The biggest impact will likely come from the school district, where Fairfield High School is just a quarter-mile east of the intersection.

Fairfield school board President Dan Hare said parents and students need to pay attention to the timing of the project. Fairfield does not provide bus transportation to the high school.

“Parents taking children to school and students driving themselves, they’re going to be the ones most impacted,” Hare said.

Public utilities projects include replacing a water line on the John Gray Road bridge, repairing the overflow areas of a relief sewer on Ross Road, and repainting the Mack Road water tank. More than $2.3 million is anticipated to be spent for public utilities projects.

Parks projects include improvements at Grange Park, restoring the Miami Chapel Cemetery on River Road and Harbin Park updates. Nearly $1.3 million is anticipated to be spent for park and recreation projects.

Most of the money — more than $6.96 million — expected to be spent in 2016 will be in the Public Works Department, where there are quite a number of street projects, including John Gray Road and North Gilmore Road. Those funds will be supplemented by more than $2.9 million of the outside funding.

Funding for all of the city’s capital projects still requires council approval before any can begin.

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