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* News Release *
 
Monday, December 8, 1997
For Immediate Release

COUNTY ENGINEER ADDRESSES TID BOARD CONCERNS ABOUT REGIONAL HIGHWAY

Will Focus On BCEO Projects

Butler County Engineer Dean C. Foster, in a letter to Transportation Improvement District Chairman Michael Fox, stated this morning that his office will not manage construction of the Butler Regional Highway. At the request of several TID Board members, Foster had submitted a proposal two weeks ago agreeing to manage the project should the Board decide not to hire an outside consultant.

"It is believed that my efforts were neither accepted in the spirit offered nor fully appreciated," Foster stated in his letter. "Nonetheless, I have carefully considered the Board's tentative response to my proposal. I have also welcomed comments from the community and the print media and continuously reevaluated my personal concerns of the appropriateness of my direct involvement in such a project. Moreover, I have obviously taken into consideration my current family demands." Foster's newborn son has been hospitalized with severe breathing problems.

"The real challenge is to prudently choose those civil engineering efforts that are compatible with the office I hold and that give the best possible benefit to all citizens of this County. With the foregoing in mind, my job as County Engineer is to manage the construction, maintenance, and repair" of those roads for which the Ohio Revised Code says county engineers are responsible.

While the Butler County Engineer's Office acted as the construction manager for the Union Centre Boulevard Interchange, Muhlhauser Road Extension, and the Tylersville Road / Ohio 747 intersection project, Foster believes that management of the Regional Highway project may decrease his office's services to the rest of the County. "That would not be acceptable to us," he stated. "While I am proud that the Butler County Engineer's Office kept the Regional Highway alive during the 1980s and early ‘90s, it is time for us to concentrate on our other projects. We have always fully supported the Highway and applaud the TID's efforts to get it built." The BCEO kept the proposed Highway on the map by managing the federally-required Environmental Impact Statement through to completion. The sheer volume and cost of the studies bogged the project down and challenged BCEO engineers for over a decade.

BCEO To Concentrate On Countywide Projects

The Engineer's Office has a full slate of projects on 266 miles of roadway and 369 bridges covering 13 townships and several municipalities. Foster noted that in addition to managing construction of TID projects, his office has averaged annually 20-25 bridge replacements countywide, ten major safety improvements to dangerous intersections, nine roadway and capacity improvement projects, ten to fifteen railroad crossing upgrades, 30-40 culvert replacements, and over 20 miles of paving.

"I would like to keep that annual pace up plus focus on some of our very significant projects like the Cincinnati Dayton Road widening in Monroe and Middletown, the Cincinnati Dayton Road widening in Union Township, building the Trenton Bypass, replacing the aging Liberty Fairfield Road bridge over the Great Miami River, and looking at alternatives to U.S. 27 in western Butler County," said Foster.

The BCEO is also responsible for snow and ice control on the County roadway system, tax mapping services, subdivision development services, and serves as the engineer for the Townships and their network of roads as well.

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