A $1.8 million road widening effort is in the works to help ease traffic headaches and boost safety along one of the county’s busiest stretches of roadway.
Slated for 2018, the second phase of a Tylersville Road widening project will add a westbound lane from Cox Road to I-75, plus a service road that will run behind Wendy’s and the other businesses, according to the Butler County Engineer’s Office.
The first phase of the project lasted from April 2015 through September 2016 at a cost of nearly $1.9 million, adding an eastbound lane from I-75 to Cox Road, with upgrades to the Kingsgate Way/Dudley Drive intersection.
“This project, in conjunction with the improvements made in 2015, will further improve traffic flow along one of the county’s busiest roads, making it safer and increasing overall capacity,” said Butler County Engineer Greg Wilkens.
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BUSIEST ROADS MAINTAINED BY BUTLER COUNTY ENGINEER’S OFFICE*
1. Tylersville Road – I-75 to Kingsgate Way, West Chester Twp.: 48,000 vehicles per day
2. Union Centre Boulevard between Muhlhauser Road and I-75, West Chester Twp.: 45,500 vehicles per day
3. Cincinnati Dayton Road between SR 129 and Yankee Road, Liberty Twp.: 40,500 vehicles per day
4. Liberty Way between I-75 and Cox Road, Liberty Twp./West Chester Twp.: 39,700 vehicles per day
5. Tylersville Road between Kingsgate Way and Cox Road, West Chester Twp.: 39,000 vehicles per day (2014)
*state routes excluded
Source: Butler County Engineer’s Office
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Gary Stanford, a West Chester Twp. resident of 39 years, said that’s welcome news.
“I live about a mile from here, I come here and do my shopping at Kroger and I go (Interstate) 75 to work in Sharonville all the time,” Stanford said. “In the afternoon, around 4 o’clock, cars turning from Kingsgate onto Tylersville, they get stuck at the light, traffic’s a mess and it backs up.”
The engineer’s office is in the process of purchasing the Sunoco property to provide the access point for the new service road, according to Chris Petrocy, spokesman for the Butler County Engineer’s Office
A deposit for the purchase was $1.15 million, Petrocy said.
The service road will tie into Dudley Drive at Doc Drive, which runs behind existing businesses to the east of Dudley, and run west connecting to Tylersville Road at the location where a former Sunoco gas station sits at 7424 Tylersville Road, he said.
That connection will be a right-in/right-out only.
“The new service road will be an extension of sorts to Doc Drive, which combined, will alleviate traffic from Tylersville between Cox and I-75,” Petrocy said. “So the new service road will in fact help for the section between Dudley Drive/ Kingsgate Way and I-75 … but it is intended to work in conjunction with Doc Drive, which will essentially provide a service road paralleling Tylersville the entire length from Cox to 75.”
The addition of the service road is aimed at alleviating traffic from Tylersville between Kingsgate and I-75.
Gabriel Lockhart, of West Chester Twp., said while the construction traffic would likely be “awful,” the positive effects afterward should make it worthwhile.
“(Traffic now) is better than it used to be, in terms of when they initially widened the road, but then with all the new businesses coming along at rough times of the day it can be a pain to get through,” Lockhart said. “It’s going to be a little frustrating at first (to deal with construction traffic) but I think it’s going to be better in the long term.”
Underground tanks would be removed this month at the more than two-decade old Sunoco property and the building later this year. No further properties are planned for acquisition or subsequent demolition, Petrocy said.
Also in 2018, the engineer’s office will add an additional lane to both the I-75 northbound and southbound exit ramps to Tylersville Road, Petrocy said.
BCEO obtained a $922,000 safety grant from the Ohio Department of Transportation to complete the exit ramps project, which is separate from the Tylersville Road widening project, he said.
The total cost is as yet uncertain, but the grant should cover most, if not all the cost, Petrocy said.
Ray Schreiter, a Mason resident of 26 years, said the process of widening Tylersville is unnecessary and will further impede traffic there.
“I think Tylersville’s OK,” he said while fueling his vehicle at Thorntons gas station. “I mean, rush hours traffic, some weekend stuff, it’s slower (but) everything works. I can’t imagine the mess it’s going to be in this process to widen it.
“Traveling this every day, the frustration that that’s going to create is going to be ridiculous,” he said.