New roundabout opens, paves the way for Fairfield Twp. development

The Butler County Engineer’s Office wrapped up the Gilmore Road/Hamilton-Mason Road roundabout two days early. It’s the 18th roundabout in the county, which gives the Butler County 24 in total. The county has several more planned to be constructed in the next two years. Pictured is Fairfield Twp. roundabout at Gilmore and Hamilton-Mason roads. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/STAFF
The Butler County Engineer’s Office wrapped up the Gilmore Road/Hamilton-Mason Road roundabout two days early. It’s the 18th roundabout in the county, which gives the Butler County 24 in total. The county has several more planned to be constructed in the next two years. Pictured is Fairfield Twp. roundabout at Gilmore and Hamilton-Mason roads. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/STAFF

The county’s 24th roundabout at Gilmore and Hamilton-Mason roads in Fairfield Twp. “paves the way for economic development,” said Trustee Shannon Hartkemeyer.

“That has been a difficult intersection for quite some time,” she said. “I think the addition of that roundabout makes the traffic flow exponentially more efficient.”

The roundabout, the second in the township, is the 18th led by the Butler County Engineer's Office, which maintains 13 of those traffic-calming devices. The engineer's office plans to begin two more in 2020, and five in 2021, according to its online future projects list. The engineer's office installed a roundabout at Liberty-Fairfield/Vinnedge/Hamilton-Mason roads intersection in 2008.

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The Gilmore Road roundabout was installed to better align it with Hamilton Enterprise Park Drive, as well as calm future anticipated traffic over the next few years as nearly 200 acres of land is developed. The township and Fairfield City Schools closed on a $1.3 million deal last week on 32 acres of that township-owned land.

“Relocating the south end of Gilmore Road and attaching it to the roundabout has eliminated left turns onto Hamilton-Mason Road, thereby reducing the risk for crashes during peak traffic flow,” said engineer’s office spokeswoman Betsy Horton. “Simply realigning Gilmore Road and adding a traffic light would not have efficiently accommodated the future growth and development in Fairfield Twp., specifically on Gilmore Road.”

The area has been a focus of Fairfield Twp. in recent years, including in 2017, when the township and city of Hamilton agreed on a joint economic development district (JEDD) to bring in new tax revenue to both communities. That JEDD, established in 1996, brought in developments like Bridgewater Falls, Home Depot and Walmart.

Traffic in the area is expected to grow as land is developed.

Parts of the area have already been developed, including with StoryPoint Senior Living and the recently relocated Fairfield Twp. Fire Station 212. The school district has said it does not have any immediate plans for its newly acquired land. All of this land is on a parcel the township purchased from Graceworks Lutheran in 2017.

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There’s also upwards of 100 undeveloped land across Gilmore Road owned by the Kettering Health Network, and a developing Butler County medical campus at Enterprise Park across Hamilton-Mason Road.

More work is still planned for the area as the land is developed, trustees have said. The township has plans to widen Gilmore Road from the roundabout to the Butler County Regional Highway overpass.

Trustee Joe McAbee said the roundabout and the Gilmore Road widening project will “encourage business development in vacant township properties in the area,” and help residents and visitors navigate the township.

Trustee Susan Berding said the underground utilities had been laid, and the power grid to the area is in place and believes developments will be attracted to the area once the widening project is finished.