Problem bottleneck on Fairfield road to be fixed this year

Congestion, safety will improve with $4.5M South Gilmore Road project, officials say.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

There is good news and bad news for commuters who travel South Gilmore Road.

The good news is that by the end of the year, the bottleneck that’s caused congestion and safety concerns will be eliminated.

The bad news, the project requires a 30-day road closure of South Gilmore this summer.

John R. Jurgensen Co. had the lowest project bid, which was opened on Monday, among the five companies seeking the job. Jurgensen’s bid came in just more than $4.5 million, under the engineer’s $4.8 million estimate.

“It’s a pretty big project,” said Public Works Director Ben Mann.

The project, which is just more than a mile in total length, calls for the widening on the southbound side of South Gilmore Road, from just north of Mack Road to about 600 feet north of Resor Road. It also will involve installing a center turn lane, concrete median, new sidewalks on the east and west sides of South Gilmore, and new stormwater sewer lines.

While the preconstruction meeting still needs to happen, Mann said construction is expected to start in late April or early May, and substantial completion is expected by the first of November. The punch list after substantial completion should be finished by December.

However, the project involves the installation of 42- and 54-inch storm sewer lines that will require a road closure. Mann said the closure would happen when school is out, so post-Memorial Day weekend and prior to early August.

The cost of the work — projections have steadily increased in the years it’s been discussed — includes $2.5 million in federal funds, and Fairfield would be responsible for the remaining $2 million, Mann said.

This road project is in addition to the annual overlay project called for in the Fairfield Street Sustainability Plan.

“We’re going to maintain the level recommended in that plan for just normal roadway resurfacing, but we also have the South Gilmore project this year,” said City Manager Scott Timmer.

There will be more than 26 lane miles of streets paved in 2024 ― a small portion on the southern city border will be partly funded by Hamilton County ― which includes the 2.6 lane miles on South Gilmore and the 22-plus lane miles in the sustainability plan.

Once the South Gilmore Road project wraps by the end of the year, the city will turn its focus to another section of the road, from Resor to Old Gilmore. Mann said this section would see the road widened to five lanes with sidewalks and cost about $2 million. Funding has not yet been secured for this project, he said.

South Gilmore Road improvements were identified as a need in a June 2006 Burgess and Niple corridor study of South Gilmore and Winton roads. It highlighted necessary improvements, some were addressed previously when the city improved the Mack and South Gilmore roads and addressed another bottleneck along the South Gilmore/Winton road from Mack to the Interstate 275 interchange.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

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