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* News Release *
 
Monday, April 30, 2001
For Immediate Release

COUNTY ENGINEER UNVEILS STRATEGIES FOR SR 63 EXTENSION
Project Moving Forward

Butler County Engineer Gregory J. Wilkens met today with members of the Trenton Area Access Committee (TAAC) to discuss developments on the proposed State Route 63 Extension. While several issues were addressed, Wilkens affirmed that design and engineering are moving forward and that he will continue to rely on guidance from the TAAC in finalizing the project.

TAAC Chairperson Ken Reed said "We know this is a very important project locally and regionally and we believe the State regards it the same way. Our job as an advisory committee is to help bring about local consensus in an effort to make the State Route 63 Extension a reality."

Results of last December's highly successful workshop, the third in a series, were reported by Wilkens who noted that several positive ideas from the public have since been implemented into the S.R. 63 plan. Small group local work sessions have been held throughout the corridor over the last few months in response to requests made at the workshop. "These meetings were very fruitful and have led to an all around better project," Wilkens said. "Minor adjustments were made to the Preferred Alternative Alignment to better suit the needs of local property owners. Public safety and transportation efficiency are crucial and what we have now properly addresses those issues. This is why public involvement is so important."

Wilkens also spoke about the increased cost estimate to build the new roadway, which jumped from $47 million to $79.1 million. "We evaluated the needs of the study area, including technical analyses plus consideration of public input and environmental issues. What we found was that some of the original concepts needed to be adjusted in order to better achieve the most appropriate transportation solution. The initial plan called for building at-grade intersections all along the project; however, we believe the construction of full access interchanges at Wayne Madison Road and Woodsdale Road with limited access points elsewhere will better accommodate local traffic patterns and land use plans."

Phasing the construction is being considered as a means to offset the project's higher cost. There is a proposal to build the first phase from Wayne Madison Road west to U.S. 127 since this would initially help solve traffic problems in high accident areas such as S.R. 73 west of Trenton. Phase two would then connect the new roadway from Wayne Madison Road east to S.R. 4 and existing S.R. 63.

Part of the project implementation strategy now includes "value engineering," according to Rick Record of project consultant Balke Engineers. "With value engineering design options and costs are scrutinized to get the best benefit at the least cost," he said. During this review period, the TAAC will present the modified Preferred Alternative to the public in a fourth workshop, which is being planned for this summer.

# # #

For more information contact:

Chris Petrocy, Public Information Supervisor
Greg Wilkens, P.E., P.S., Butler County Engineer
Phone 513.867.5744 • Fax 513.867.5849


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