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