West Chester approves new ‘pocket park’ as final touch of huge road project

The final touch on the huge Cincinnati Dayton Road widening project will come this spring when construction begins on the Station Road pocket park.

The West Chester Twp. trustees approved a $359,408 construction contract and $15,840 for a project manager last week for the park on the southeast corner of Cincinnati Dayton and Station roads in Olde West Chester. Township Administrator Larry Burks said officials budgeted $500,000 for the park and received five bids.

“It will be nice to have Cincinnati Dayton Road finished, finished,” Trustee Ann Becker said. “I think this is the last piece to be done, it’s been a few years. It will be nice to see.”

The park will feature decorative retaining walls, a paved patio area, a fountain, landscape and benches.

“The design is really meant to suit the historic character of the Olde West Chester district,” said Community Services Director Tim Franck. “It will be a nice spot for someone to sit with a cup of coffee or host a small activity.”

The massive $7.8 million Cincinnati Dayton Road project — mainly funded with federal funds — included widening the road to four lanes from West Chester Road to Interstate 75, new sidewalks and decorative lighting, five crosswalks, a bridge replacement and a bridge widening.

The project that was under the direction of Butler County Engineer Greg Wilkens took about 18 months and was substantially complete in the fall of 2019. The project was tricky because they had to work around all the homes and businesses that line the road.

Barb Wilson, director of public information and engagement, said designing the park wasn’t without its challenges either and it was made possible only after Station Road was realigned and a building on the property was demolished.

“It is a small and challenging property that presented an opportunity‚” Wilson said. “The design had to address some elevation challenges and the utility pole support wires. It’s a small feature, but once completed will really change the look of the corridor.”

Wilson said they don’t have a concrete start or completion date yet, because construction could be complicated by the weather, the pandemic, equipment and supply factors, among other things.

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