Spring is orange cone and detour sign season, and the season is in full swing in Butler County.
The Butler County engineer got an early start on $26 million worth of road improvements this year, starting with the Ohio 747 widening project that began last month. As promised, there will likely be only one full closure for that project, and that is happening this weekend, Saturday through Monday, as crews work on culvert and water main installations and storm sewer crossings.
Traffic is being maintained throughout the $7 million project that spans from Princeton to Millikin Road. Liberty Twp. Trustee Board President Tom Farrell said something residents won’t see when the project is completed in September is a traffic light at the Carriage Hill and Wynds of Liberty subdivisions, but it will come.
Traffic numbers haven’t warranted a light there — even though he says it is virtually impossible to turn left out of either subdivision — but Farrell said with the road being widened to five lanes, it should qualify soon.
“We were not able to get a light justified at that intersection by the state of Ohio, which doesn’t make sense to me, however, we will once the traffic pattern changes,” he said. “So we are wiring that intersection for a light so once we get approval, we’ll be able to simply install the light, we won’t have the cost of the wiring or any of the other expenses.”
A road that will be closed for about two months is Yankee Road south of the new roundabout at Princeton Road. That closure is scheduled to start March 26. That $4 million project started last year, but the engineer’s office had crews take a hiatus during the winter months so the road has been passable.
Another project that has some West Chester Twp. residents commenting on Facebook is the Beckett and Smith roads roundabout. Detour signs went up in that area March 5 and will be in place at the $996,090 project until the week of June 11.
“This intersection doesn’t even need a roundabout. It’s going to be a mess for 3 months,” Troy Meyers wrote.
The project involves construction of a single lane roundabout with curb and gutter, lighting, and storm sewers. A multi-use path for pedestrian and bicycle traffic will be constructed along the north side of the new roundabout, connecting to an existing path at nearby Beckett Ridge Boulevard.
Chris Petrocy, spokesman for the engineer’s office, said a fix was needed.
“At rush hour there’s a lot traffic through there,” Petrocy said. “Roundabouts slow traffic down but keep it moving so that of course is the goal to keep traffic moving through there in a safe manner.”
Last Monday, the county commissioners approved the expenditure of almost $1.4 million for improvements to the ramps on the Interstate 75 and Tylersville Road interchange, which is part of a bigger plan.
The second phase of Tylersville Road widening in West Chester Twp., a project to enhance safety in the congested area, was taken off the engineer’s to-do list this year because right-of-way purchases to add another westbound lane from Interstate 75 to Cox Road have been difficult.
Another major project slated for this is year is the $7 million widening of Cincinnati Dayton Road from West Chester Road to Interstate 75. The project to widen the road to four lanes won’t get underway until the summer. In all, there are about 80 road, bridge, paving and culvert improvements scheduled this year on county roads and within the townships.
So far the projects that have been bid have come in right on the money with estimated costs.
“That’s a good thing,” Petrocy said. “So far everything’s pretty good, but it’s still early.”