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$3M Tylersville Road widening project on track in West Chester for 2020

Butler County Engineer Greg Wilkens has a $38 million capital projects list for 2019, but the second phase of Tylersville Road widening in West Chester Twp. was recently cut from the list for this year because bids came in about $1 million higher than estimates. The project to enhance safety in the congested area has been delayed previously by difficult right-of-way purchases. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Butler County Engineer Greg Wilkens has a $38 million capital projects list for 2019, but the second phase of Tylersville Road widening in West Chester Twp. was recently cut from the list for this year because bids came in about $1 million higher than estimates. The project to enhance safety in the congested area has been delayed previously by difficult right-of-way purchases. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Bids for the Tylersville Road widening project remain high but within reason, so the Butler County engineer intends to proceed with the $3 million project this year.

The final phase of a project designed to make Tylersville Road at the Interstate 75 interchange in West Chester Twp. safer and less congested for the 50,000 drivers who travel it daily is back on track, and construction is slated to start in the spring.

The county received four bids for the project ranging from $3 to $3.6 million. The county commissioners still must award a contract. The original cost estimate was abut $2 million, but when contractors went over by $1 million, County Engineer Greg Wilkens deferred the project.

After a “scary” bidding season last year, during which bids for multiple projects were sometimes much higher than estimated costs, Wilkens revised his estimate for the project to $3 million. Given all the drivers and businesses in the area, construction will be done at night, likely from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. and should be completed this summer.

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“There’s less traffic on the roads so the productivity of the contractors goes up a little because you’re not fighting traffic, trying to maneuver through traffic,” Wilkens said. “And then the businesses aren’t affected as much because people still have good access in the daytime and don’t have to contend with construction.”

The project entails adding a westbound lane on the north side of the road from the interstate to Cox Road. To make that happen, access driveways to the rear of the eateries near Home Depot must be moved. There will now be two access roads to the rear service road, the current one at Dudley Drive and a new one that will run through the old Sunoco gas station site.

West Chester Trustee Mark Welch said the widening, which is being funded with county TIF dollars, is welcome.

“It is much anticipated, there were a lot things that came up over the course of this and it’s desperately needed up there on Tylersville,” Welch said. “I think that it will really help to move traffic in a positive way, both east and west from the interstate. We’re glad that it’s finally getting done.”

The final phase of the Tylersville Road project has been delayed twice, the first time because acquiring right of way needed for the widening was challenging.

The project first stalled in 2018 as officials worked to acquire land from the commercial property owners that line the road. Wendy’s frontage and entrance way was the last parcel the Butler County engineer’s office needed to acquire.

Wilkens’ office spent almost $2.6 million acquiring the land necessary to complete the project.

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.