Butler County Engineer
Greg Wilkens announces that the next phase of Ohio 747 improvements
is slated to begin in June. This major safety project will widen
the heavily-traveled two-lane road to five lanes -- two northbound,
two southbound, and a center turn lane -- from south of Smith
Road northward to Tylersville Road. Significant upgrades to the
Smith Road intersection are also planned.
The project is expected
to take 13 months to complete and construction will be performed
while maintaining the current two lanes of traffic at all times.
Access to all businesses will also be maintained throughout the
course of the project. While there will be no road closings,
motorists may encounter occasional minor delays. When possible,
motorists may want to find alternate routes in an effort to reduce
congestion throughout the construction zone.
"This is an extremely
important project for West Chester Township," said Wilkens.
"State Route 747 is a major north-south route that services
existing development and feeds the growing areas to the north.
Our goal is to vastly improve safety and eliminate the capacity
problems inherent with an outdated road such as this. Widening
to five lanes will reduce much of the frustrating rush hour congestion
now experienced by the traveling public." Traffic counts
average about 24,000 vehicles per day along this stretch of roadway,
according to BCEO traffic and safety engineers.
A contract for the
project was awarded to SK Construction of Middletown which submitted
a low bid of $4,990,541. 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 also contributed
$300,000 toward the preliminary engineering.
Partnering with State
This section of state-maintained
Ohio 747 is being improved by the County Engineer's Office in
an effort to expedite construction, Wilkens stated in a press
release last year. "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," he said.
"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 south of Smith up to Tylersville Road."
The BCEO began development
of engineering plans for the project's design phase in 2001.
Right-of-way acquisitions involved 23 parcels and totaled $1.6
million, with approximately $550,000 of that donated by private
businesses. Wilkens noted that 80 percent of the right-of-way
costs were paid for through federal funds. Utility relocations
began in 2003 and are nearly complete.
A History of Improvements
This is one in a series
of projects begun in the late 1980s designed to improve Ohio
747 from Crescentville Road north to Ohio 129. The BCEO partnered
with ODOT to complete the very first phase as well as phase two.
The first phase was completed in the fall of 1990. That project
cost $3,944,000 and widened 1.2 miles of Ohio 747 from Crescentville
Road to Ashley Drive. The next phase involved a new bridge and
railroad crossing north of Port Union followed by widening the
entire section from Ashley Drive to just south of Smith Road,
which was completed in 1998. Improvements were also made to the
747 / Tylersville Road intersection by the Butler County TID
and the BCEO in 1996.
Following the current
project, the BCEO will begin construction in 2005 on an intersection
improvement at Ohio 747 and Princeton Road that will include
widening 747 south of the intersection to Ohio 129. Additionally,
the TID in cooperation with the BCEO is working on plans to widen
747 from Tylersville to Ohio 129 beginning in 2006.
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For more information
Petrocy, BCEO Public Information Supervisor
Greg Wilkens, P.E., P.S.,
Butler County Engineer
Phone 513.867.5744 Fax 513.867.5849