Repaving project could be last scheduled major work on Ohio 4 ‘for a while’

The road construction headaches will start for Fairfield commuters in about a month as the Ohio 4 repaving project begins.

It is expected Fairfield City Council will approve at tonight's meeting a nearly $3.5 million repaving contract with John R. Jurgenson for the company to repave a nearly 4.5 mile stretch of Ohio 4 from Seward Road to the northern corporation line with Hamilton, just north of the railroad overpass. Council is also expected to OK $242,000 for project contingencies.

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The biggest concern is bad subgrade, said Fairfield City Engineer Ben Mann.

“It gets worn out from the pavement being on top of it, water being trapped under the pavement, and all the truck traffic,” he said.

This is the third consecutive year that Ohio 4 has experienced a significant project impacting traffic. In 2016, the intersection of Holden Boulevard/South Gilmore Road and Ohio 4 was realigned, and Duke Energy did some utility work near that intersection. Last year, the water main under a two-mile stretch of Ohio 4 — from Nilles Road to Bypass Ohio 4 — was replaced.

“The road is currently in poor condition, and this is really going to restore the structural integrity of the road,” said Fairfield City Manager Mark Wendling. “And it will maintain Route 4 as a viable business corridor not just for Fairfield, but for Butler County and the entire region.”

Wendling acknowledges that the construction projects over the past few years was “very painful” for commuters and the local businesses — and appreciates their patience — “but while it’s been very painful, it’s been necessary.”

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“We’ll have a beautiful new road that shouldn’t be in need of any repairs for many years to come,” he said.

Mann said this is the last planned big project “for a while” for Ohio 4. The next portion of Ohio 4 to see any scheduled repaving work will be from the southern corporation limit north to Seward Road, but that is at least five years — likely more — from taking place, Mann said.

City officials recently met with Jurgenson officials for a pre-construction meeting, and the company told the city it would start on the northern end of the state route “because that’s where the bulk of the concrete work is,” Mann said.

While the city will pay for around $2 million of the project, the remainder of the funds will come from a pair of Ohio Department of Transpiration grants. The city will receive $1.6 million from an urban paving program grant and $50,000 from a state safety grant.

Part of the project will also include removing the right-turn yield lane for traffic heading north on Ohio 4 to eastbound Bypass Ohio 4 due to accidents at that intersection.

“There have been several accidents of people coming around that turn too fast,” said Mann. “Essentially people aren’t yielding.”

The project is expected to last close to three months, and while paving will be at night, Mann said there “will be a considerable amount of work during the day.”

Detours and traffic alerts will be posted on electronic message boards around the construction area, and updates will be posted on the city's Twitter handle @FairfieldOH.

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