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ODOT plans $60 million in Butler, Warren projects

Road and bridge construction improves safety and boosts economy, state official says.

More than $60 million being spent on road and bridge projects in Butler and Warren counties in the 2016 construction season represents an investment in local jobs and safety, a state official said Tuesday.

“To many Ohioans, construction season means orange barrels and potential delays,” said Tammy Campbell, Ohio Department of Transportation’s deputy director for District 8, based in Lebanon. “However, construction season means much more than that. It’s an investment in our state’s transportation system and is vital to the economy and essential for job creation in Ohio.”

In District 8, more than $477 million has been planned to assist 109 projects across its seven-county area that includes Butler, Warren, Preble, Greene, Clinton, Hamilton and Clermont counties. That amount is part of the $2.1 billion that is being spent statewide on 1,100 projects, including those in District 8.

“Most people notice when ODOT builds something new,” Campbell said. “However, we actually spend 93 percent of our time and resources taking care of what we have.”

Campbell gave an overview of several of the major projects for 2016 during a kick-off presentation in Lytle Park in downtown Cincinnati as work was being done in the background for improvements to the Lytle Park tunnel of Interstate 71.

ODOT is responsible for more than 43,000 miles of road and 14,000 bridges in the state. Campbell said the safety, economy and quality of life of the region depend on having a good transportation system.

“Infrastructure is essentially the foundation of economic development,” said Mark Policinski, CEO of the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments.

Policinski singled out the Martin Luther King Drive/I-71 interchange project. He said the project was supposed to start in 2026, but the private sector teamed with local governments, and it now is expected to be completed in 2017.

“This is game-changing/life-changing for 2 million residents in the region,” he said.

The completion of the $88.1 million I-71/Jeremiah Morrow Bridge replacement is the largest project in the Butler/Warren County region. Construction started in 2010, and the project is expected to be completed in November.

In addition, Campbell said there are a number of road and bridge projects in the area around the future Western Row Road interchange off I-71 in Warren County.

Major projects in Butler County include a widening of U.S. 27 in Oxford, which started in August of 2014 and is expected to be completed by July. In addition to the widening project, other bridge repair and drainage/erosion projects along the length of U.S. 27 that will have a total cost of more than $7.9 million.

Other 2016 projects include: $801,678 for culvert repair and replacement projects on Ohio 129, Ohio 732, and U.S. 27; $366,000 for repairs on Hamilton’s South D Street bridge over the CSX rail tracks; $468,000 for bridge repairs on Ohio 126; $304,902 to resurface a parking lot at Pater Lake/Rush Run; $789,000 for Ohio 4 resurfacing in Middletown; $898,000 to resurface Ohio 122 in northern Butler County; and $685,000 to resurface Ohio 747 in Liberty Twp.

Other road projects in Warren County include: $885,000 to resurface Ohio 123 south of Franklin; $495,000 to resurface a portion of U.S. 42 between Mason and Lebanon; and $585,000 to resurface a portion of Ohio 350 in eastern Warren County. About $130,639 will be used to repair bridge along U.S. 22 near Morrow; $416,124 will be used through the Ohio Partnership Bridge Program for bridge repairs on Warren County Road 7/Wilmington Road. ODOT is also spending more than $1.39 million for culvert repairs/replacements along portions of U.S. 42, Ohio 48, Ohio 741, and Ohio 123.

ODOT is also assisting in the funding of local projects such as the $1.57 million Bonham Road Bridge replacement; the $1.87 million widening of Liberty Fairfield Road; and the $2 million in intersection improvements at Ohio 4 and Gilmore Road in Fairfield.

The state agency is providing $15 million to the nearly $29 million South Hamilton Crossing project in Hamilton and is part of the $2.44 improvements to the High Street/Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard intersection in Hamilton; the $960,000 replacement of the Cleveland Avenue bridge; $1 million to resurface Ohio 48 in Lebanon; $3 million for traffic signal improvements in Mason; $6.3 million for the Oxford State Road reconstruction in Middletown; and $10 million for the relocation of Columbia Road in Warren County.

The lion’s share of major projects are in the Cincinnati area, including the $90 million reconstruction of the Interstate 75/Hopple street interchange and the $80 million I-71/Martin Luther King Drive interchange project. Other Cincinnati work includes the $3.1 million replacement of the North Bend Road bridge over I-74, and the Ohio 125/Five Mile Road intersection project.