Road extension will give drivers easier access to I-75, Ohio 4

By late 2017, Salzman Road could be extended north to intersect with a key Middletown road, giving truck drivers easier access to Ohio 4 and Interstate 75 and keeping the semis off other heavily traveled areas.

Monroe City Council on Tuesday approved an agreement with Middletown, the Butler County Engineer’s Office and the Butler County Transportation Improvement District for the $3.2 million project.

Currently traffic follows Yankee Road, which doglegs to and from Todhunter Road.

Once the project is completed, the extension will align with Yankee Road and will provide a straight route for truck and commercial traffic between Todhunter Road and Ohio 63 for easier access to Ohio 4 and Interstate 75. The extension will enable semi-trucks to avoid a railroad crossing as well as the area around Monroe High School and Junior High school.

David Spinney, BCTID executive director, said previous agreements were to identify contributions needed from both cities to do the project.

“This codifies past actions and lays out a time frame for the project and when contributions are needed,” he said.

While Monroe approved its part of the agreement, Middletown City Council is expected to take final action on the agreement at its Aug. 16 meeting. Middletown gave the agreement a first reading last week.

Spinney said he expects the advertising for bids to go out in January and construction is tentatively scheduled for April with completion by the end of 2017. The BCTID will be managing the construction project for both cities, he said.

In addition, Spinney said Duke Energy is scheduled to raise the high tension electric transmission lines that cross the property for traffic to safely pass under. He said the electric utility can only de-energize those lines twice a year during low-demand times. That work is tentatively scheduled for November.

Earlier this year, Monroe officials said the road will have to be raised about five feet due to underground gas transmission lines under the property.

The Butler County TID is managing the project while the cities of Monroe and Middletown have agreed to pay for any overage costs for the design work as the TID was awarded a $237,000 grant to do the design work and a federal grant for $2.4 million to construct the road extension.

In his report, Monroe City Manager Bill Brock said Middletown is being asked to commit $240,000 toward the project while Monroe will be responsible for right of way acquisition as well as construction costs and a fee to the TID.

Brock said Monroe’s breakdown of its cost includes $15,124 previously approved toward design costs, up to $225,000 toward right of way (includes legal fees and other costs), $188,782 toward construction costs and $60,000 in fees to the TID for managing the project.

He said depending on the final bids on the project, the cities would agree to cover any additional costs associated with construction. Brock said the total cost to date for Monroe is estimated at $488,906. Total project costs are estimated at just under $3.2 million.

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