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* News Release *
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
For Immediate Release


Nearly eleven years ago, the Butler County Engineer's Office unveiled a master plan for the County's rapidly expanding roadway grid. Designed to provide Butler County citizens with a safe, diversified, and more efficient transportation system, this comprehensive countywide Thoroughfare Plan would be a long-range project planning and development tool for BCEO engineers as well as all County, city, and township planners.

Greg Wilkens was the plan coordinator back in the early 1990s. Now as the Butler County Engineer, Wilkens and his staff have been revisiting the Plan and are formulating a major update. "It's fascinating and exciting to see how far we've come and yet how far we still need to go," he said. "We've accomplished an extraordinary number of improvements and expansion of the roadway system in a very short amount of time. That's clearly a tribute to the strong spirit of cooperation that exists among our communities, the public and private sectors, as well as State and Federal agencies. And as the growth continues we must continually re-evaluate our long- and short-range plans."

Indeed, since the original Thoroughfare Plan was officially adopted by County Commissioners, Butler County's population has swelled by more than 32,000 people. That means more cars, more traffic, and more construction projects for the Engineer's Office. "Planning ahead for these projects is essential," Wilkens emphasized. "The Butler County Thoroughfare Plan serves as a tool to establish future rights-of-way and organize planning and construction of new roads and upgrades to existing roads. This is a critical document that deserves input from the entire community."

Officials Meet To Review Plan

Wilkens has assembled a team of community leaders to participate in the Thoroughfare Plan update. Comprised of various County, city, and township officials as well as private sector individuals, the group met this morning to begin the next phase of the update process.

"We wanted to make everyone aware of our accomplishments and develop a unified vision for future transportation plans," noted Wilkens. "The plan strives for a united, orderly approach to improving our transportation infrastructure. We seek to identify and prioritize road projects in Butler County through the next ten to twenty years. Identifying potential funding sources is of course a vital element to all of this."

Accomplishments of the Recent Past

Improving safety and facilitating smoother traffic flow are two of the primary goals of the Thoroughfare Plan. During this morning's meeting, Wilkens cited numerous completed projects that have greatly enhanced the County's transportation system -- the Butler County Veteran's Highway, construction of Union Centre Boulevard and the UCB interchange at I-75, widening Ohio 747 from the County line north to Tylersville Road, widening of Cincinnati Dayton Road in several locations, additional lanes on I-75, the UCB / Symmes Road Extension, Cox Road Extension, Muhlhauser Road Extension and widening, and the Ohio 122 widening.

"These are significant. And it's just a sampling of all that has been accomplished," Wilkens said. "But there's more work to do."

Some members of the Thoroughfare Plan committee will work in subcommittees designed to specifically address bikeways and pedestrian facilities, project priorities, and technical and engineering issues. When the document is finalized, it will go before the Butler County Planning Commission for review and a series of public hearings will be held in an effort to solicit feedback from the general public. Wilkens said he hopes to see the finalized Thoroughfare Plan update officially adopted in early 2007.

Butler County Engineer Greg Wilkens makes
presentation at Thoroughfare Plan update
meeting. Click to enlarge.

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For more information contact:

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

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