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* News Release *
 
Tuesday, July 2, 2002
For Immediate Release

ENGINEER'S OFFICE RECEIVES OPWC GRANT
Funding for Eight Bridges, Two Intersections

Butler County Engineer Greg Wilkens announces that his office has received approval for $900,000 in financial assistance from the Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC) for eight bridge replacements and two intersection improvements in Butler County. The total cost of the ten projects is approximately $1.8 million.

The eight-bridge package has an estimated cost of $805,000 and includes four bridges currently posted with load limits. The eight bridges are located on California Road, Canal Road, Howe Road, Huston Road, Oxford Middletown Road, Schradin Road, Stillwell Road, and Stout Road. The OPWC grant will pay for $400,000 while the County Engineer’s Office will contribute a local match amount of $405,000 toward construction of the new bridges, which is expected to start this fall and continue through next summer. Design and engineering, right-of-way drawings, and utility relocation plans are currently being developed by the BCEO.

Turn lanes and a traffic signal will be installed at the intersection of Liberty Fairfield Road and Millikin Road. A new culvert will be installed at Millikin Road and Morris Road and the intersection will be widened to better accommodate turning movements by school buses and other large vehicles that travel the roads. $500,000 of the OPWC grant will be applied to the $1 million price tag for the intersections. Fairfield and Liberty Townships will contribute $50,000 each to the funding package in addition to the Engineer’s local match of $400,000 for the intersections. Construction on the intersection upgrades is scheduled for 2003.

"This grant is good news for Butler County motorists," said Wilkens. "While our office is funded by a portion of the gasoline taxes and automobile license taxes collected by the state, these taxes have not increased for many years. Our revenues have remained relatively flat. Unfortunately, our costs for labor, materials, land and services continue to grow annually. Therefore, we must constantly search for additional funds to help us finance the projects needed to make our roads and bridges safer. We compete for Federal, State and Local grants and loans to stretch our $3.5 million construction budget as far as possible. We also require developers to upgrade road segments impacted by their development sites."

Butler County currently has 15 bridges that are load-rated or under construction. The County’s annual bridge inspection, required by the Federal Highway Administration, is now in progress. It is inevitable that several additional bridges will have to be posted with weight restrictions. Many county structures are well past their planned lifespan. A few bridges in the county are nearly 100 years old. Bridges are scheduled for replacement based on several criteria, including their physical condition, functional deficiencies, traffic counts, and availability of funds.

OPWC Programs Aid Local Infrastructure

The State Capital Improvements Program (SCIP), created in 1987, enables the state to issue $120 million in bonds each year to provide grants, loans, and financing for local debt support and credit enhancement to local communities for the improvement of their basic infrastructure systems. Eligible projects include improvements to roads, bridges, culverts, water supply systems, wastewater systems, storm water collection systems, and solid waste disposal facilities.

The Local Transportation Improvements Program (LTIP) was created by the Ohio legislature in 1989 and provides an additional $60 million in gasoline receipts each year for roads, bridges and culverts.

Butler County has used OPWC funding for many projects in the past and is currently using these funds for the Cincinnati Dayton Road improvement project between Interstate 75 and Mauds Hughes Road and on the Port Union Road upgrade west of Ohio 747, both scheduled for completion later this year.

# # #

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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