Butler County Engineer
Greg Wilkens reports that design plans for the next phase of
the Ohio 747 widening are nearly complete with a scheduled 2004
construction date still on target. The heavily traveled, two-lane
road will be widened to five lanes from just south of Smith Road
north to Tylersville Road, with significant upgrades to the Smith
Road intersection also planned.
This section of state-maintained
highway is being improved by the County Engineer's Office in
an effort to expedite construction, according to Wilkens. "Our
ability to coordinate right-of-way and environmental studies
has allowed us to accelerate the process and meet the federal
requirement for local matching funds. While revenues are limited
at the state level as well as at the local level, making this
project a County priority means it can be built much more quickly,"
The BCEO began development
of engineering plans for the project's design phase in 2001.
Final right-of-way and utility plans are now complete and ready
for review. Bids for construction will be received in early 2004
with utility relocations possibly starting sooner. Wilkens noted
that utility and right-of-way costs are expected to be very high
with this project: "Right-of-way acquisition alone is going
to cost approximately $1.8 million. Fortunately, 80 percent of
that will be paid for with federal funds."
The total price for
the Ohio 747 widening is estimated to be $7 million, with actual
construction costs projected at $5.2 million. Construction will
be managed by the BCEO as a Federal LPA (Local Public Agency)
project. Funding will consist of federal grant money through
the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana (OKI) Regional Council of Governments
with additional sources from the Ohio Department of Transportation
(ODOT) and private right-of-way donations. West Chester Township
is also contributing $300,000 toward the preliminary engineering.
"This is another
fine example of partnering among agencies in an effort to bring
about a much-needed project," Wilkens emphasized. "The
State actually had plans to do the bridge portion of the project
and we felt it was important to widen the whole road. So we worked
closely with ODOT, OKI, and the Township to secure funds for
the entire section from Smith up to Tylersville Road." Expected
to take two years to complete, construction will be performed
while maintaining two lanes of traffic at all times.
On the heels of this
project, the Butler County TID in cooperation with the BCEO is
working on plans to widen 747 from Tylersville to Ohio 129 (The
Fox Highway). TID officials say they have cleared the majority
of funding hurdles necessary to move the project forward. That
section is slated for construction beginning in 2006.
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For more information contact:
Petrocy, BCEO Public
Wilkens, P.E., P.S.,
Butler County Engineer
Phone 513.867.5744 Fax 513.867.5849