How quickly the project can win federal money will be a major factor in a timeline, Corey said, adding: “I would not give it the 20-, 30-year marks, unless there’s no funds. The 10-year mark is somewhat pretty far-out-there too. I feel like we can be stating something tighter than that.”
“I know we need it bad,” Pohlman said. “We need it over there for the Spooky Nook.”
The alignment chosen for North Hamilton Crossing will be one that complements both the need to replace the bridge along with the highway, Corey said.
The county panel on Monday voted to sign an intergovernmental agreement with Hamilton to advance the project. Under the pact, the county will take the lead in overseeing the project’s Phase I.
That phase includes developing a feasibility study, preliminary engineering and cost estimates through processes required by the Ohio Department of Transportation and federal transportation officials to win state and federal funding.
Cost of the Phase I will be about $1 million, with $750,000 coming from the city and $250,000 from the county transportation district. Hamilton has applied for a $2.8 million federal BUILD grant toward work on the highway.
READ MORE: Cohen Recycling property could be target for redevelopment in Hamilton
“One of the early identified purposes and needs (of the project) as we see it is to replace the Black Street Bridge and provide mobility and accessibility to some of the economic-development elements that are happening on the west side of Hamilton,” Corey said.
The project also has a more regional need because it would help people drive more easily from Oxford and other parts of northwestern Butler County reach Interstate 75 via Ohio 129, Corey said.
In evaluating the project, which may connect with Ohio 129 near Hampshire Drive, “multiple alignments are going to be looked at,” Corey said. “Each alignment will have different costs, and costs may be driving some of this decision, as well as mobility — some alignments may be cheaper, but are less regional in nature.”
“Regional solution and a cost-effective manner is why we’re going to be looking at multiple alignments to find a sweet spot between value, regionalism, accessibility and replacing Black Street Bridge” Corey said. “This kind of magnitude of project deserves a heavy dose of alignments and consideration ahead of picking a preferred alternative and moving forward.”
Corey joined the Butler County district on Jan. 20, after working for Warren County’s counterpart since 2011.