South Hamilton Crossing ceremony won’t happen Saturday. Here’s why.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

He made South Hamilton Crossing Overpass happen. It's now named for him....

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Given that it’s been 107 years or more — since at least 1911 — that Hamiltonians have been wanting the South Hamilton Crossing project, a few more weeks isn’t too much longer, is it?

The previously announced dedication ceremony that was set for Saturday, which Council Member Carla Fiehrer made public in June, has been pushed back until the project is closer to completion, said City Engineer Rich Engle.

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The project remains on target to meet its Dec. 31 completion date and is on target to come in below its budget, Engle said.

As of last week, the project was 75 percent complete, said Jacob Stone, the city’s public communications specialist. The dedication ceremony is now expected to happen sometime this fall.

The long-awaited South Hamilton Crossing, sought for more than a century, still has a lot of work to go before it opens later this fall. 
The long-awaited South Hamilton Crossing, sought for more than a century, still has a lot of work to go before it opens later this fall. 

The project won’t be finished as quickly as previously hoped because the contractor, John R. Jurgensen Co., “has had some issues getting work plans approved through CSX and coordination issues with their subcontractors,” Engle said.

The project’s most important aspect is an overpass taking traffic above the CSX tracks along the new route, the part of Hamilton around Ohio 4 with the area of Miami University’s Hamilton campus and the city’s West side.

The project is expected to open new land near the campus for development.

The overpass during the dedication will be named for Hamilton historian and former Journal-News editor the late Jim Blount, who tirelessly advocated for the project. Blount also served on the Butler County Transportation Improvement District, which shepherded the project to reality.

Also part of the highway’s opening will be antique cars and fire trucks to illustrate the very long period of time it took to make the project happen, Fiehrer has said.

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Items remaining including painting and sealing of bridge superstructure, installation of safety fencing, installation of street lights and paving.

The estimated $30 million project broke ground in August of 2016.

The new roadway will offer a direct east/west link between Ohio 4 and University Boulevard, offering better access from that area to the Miami University Hamilton campus and nearby Vora Technology Park. It also will raise the profile of dozens of acres available for development at the city-owned University Commerce Park.