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* News Release *
 
Thursday, October 31, 2013
For Immediate Release

COUNTY ENGINEER HONORED FOR ROUNDABOUT NAMING
Local Historians Aim to Preserve Richter Heritage

Last spring the Trenton Road roundabout at Busenbark Road and Riverside Drive was officially named the Richter Roundabout through the efforts of Butler County Engineer Greg Wilkens. The naming was in conjunction with Friends of Chrisholm, a local non-profit organization dedicated to preservation of the Chrisholm Historic Farmstead near Trenton, and to promoting the history of immigration into our area by Amish Mennonites, of which Charles Richter was a descendant.

In recognition of Wilkens' effort, representatives of Friends of Chrisholm awarded him with their 2013 "Exceptional Friend Award" for his work in naming and signing the roundabout. Hamilton Journal-News reporter Richard O. Jones was also a recipient of the award for a series of stories he wrote about Richter and the roundabout.

Richter, who grew up on a Wehr Road farm in the early 1900s near today's roundabout, developed the Richter scale for rating earthquake severity by measuring the shock waves they produce. Although the Richter scale is still in use, very few Butler Countians are aware that Richter was a local native.

Friends of Chrisholm seeks to change that through recent efforts to declare each April 26 Charles Richter Day and by their work with County Engineer Wilkens to name the nearby roundabout in Richter's honor.

Roundabout Also a Technical Accomplishment

This isn't the first recognition the roundabout has received. Last year Wilkens accepted the Regional Project-of-the-Year Award from the American Society of Highway Engineers (ASHE) for innovative construction projects costing under $3 million. Final cost of the Richter Roundabout was $695,698, funded in part by the Edgewood School District.

Built during the summer of 2011, the roundabout smooths traffic flow from three different roads as well as the new Edgewood High School and creates a safer, more efficient passage for motorists.

Situated on the roundabout's west side, the new school's primary access drive connects to the roundabout hub, easing traffic into and out of the school. The project also addressed the skewed and offset approaches of the three intersecting roads at this location. Said Wilkens upon receiving the ASHE award last year: "It was an awkward and sometimes confusing situation for motorists, especially those not familiar with the area. We've had great success with modern roundabouts elsewhere in the County and felt that this was the safest, most cost-effective solution for the Trenton Road at Busenbark and Riverside Drive intersection. It has provided a safer situation for student drivers, pedestrians, and the traveling public."

Click on images to enlarge.
Anne Jantzen, Bill McKnight present award to Wilkens
Richter Roundabout sign
.
Nearby Ohio historical marker recognizing Charles Richter
Completed roundabout
.
Previous condition with project plan overlay
ASHE award plaque
.

# # #

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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