South Hamilton Crossing still in final steps before official completion in Hamilton

The long-awaited South Hamilton Crossing overpass of Grand Boulevard above the CSX railroad tracks has been open since mid-December 2018, but there still are a few things that need to be done before the books finally can be closed on the $32 million project, the Butler County Transportation Improvement District’s board was told Monday.

TID Executive Director Dave Spinney told the board several items remain on the “punch list” of items the contractor, Sharonville-based John R. Jurgensen Company, has to finish before the construction part of the project is considered complete.

Meanwhile, although CSX years ago granted permission for properties to be used for the construction and ongoing maintenance of the project, purchase arrangements still need to be completed, he said.

“We’ve finally let (the Jurgensen company) know that they were giving us no choice, and we were going to have to exercise the clause in the contract that gives us the right to go in and finish the work, and charge it against the retainance that we have (that was created to ensure the project was finished to officials’ satisfaction),” he said.

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A deadline was given, and, “that did generate a response from Jurgensen,” he said.

Among parts of the project that need completion are seeding of grass, with which the company now has done significant work; minor repairs to concrete work, which a sub-contractor is to complete this month; and repairs to logos that have been installed, Spinney said. A Jurgensen official was not immediately available for comment.

Spinney later told this media outlet that out of more than 100 parcels involved in the project, there were 3-4 parcels owned by various CSX entities that were needed for the road and bridge. Originally, project officials proposed to purchase the parcels outright with the belief that the remaining parts of the properties would not be useful on their own. But three years after the initial contact, the railroad wanted to sell only the parts that were needed for the project, Spinney said. Reappraisals were completed based on that request, and the prices were slightly lower than initial offers.

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The railroad later said because the purchase of one property would limit access to another property CSX owned, it didn’t consider the offered price adequate. Construction officials have asked for an explanation and counter-offer, and still are awaiting it, he said.

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