Butler County Engineer
Dean C. Foster reports that development of the Trenton Area Access
Project will proceed, particularly in light of the State's Tier
2 ranking for the project announced Tuesday. Planning and environmental
work has already begun according to Foster, who was pleased with
the new ranking.
"Our goal was
to move this project forward by getting it re-designated from
a Tier 3 to at least a Tier 2 ranking, and I'm extremely happy
we were able to do that," he said. "A Tier 2 ranking
means that ODOT (Ohio Department of Transportation) can now spend
their time reviewing our work and that they deem it a worthwhile
project to move through the plan development process. Tier 3
projects however are not scheduled for any further development
by the State through 2003." By obtaining Tier 2 status,
Foster's office has ensured the Trenton project remains viable.
The project is the first segment of a possible extension of State
Route 63 from Monroe to Oxford.
studies are broken down into three phases and we are currently
nearing completion of the first phase," according to Foster.
"We intend to wrap up the entire environmental process for
the Trenton portion of the project by early 2000 and have formed
a Trenton Area Access Committee to help with this phase. Everybody's
hard work has paid off as evidenced by the project's move up
Oxford Corridor Being Studied
Foster noted however
that to ensure a logical terminus, the entire Monroe to Oxford
corridor has to be analyzed. He said that some phase one environmental
work can be anticipated in the Oxford region during the initial
design work will begin in 1999, including surveying and aerial
photography of the corridor. "Construction plans could be
ready within four years," Foster emphasized. "Locally
we're committed to the environmental work, detail plan design,
right-of-way purchase, and 25 percent of the construction cost."
Throughout the project the BCEO will also coordinate with the
City of Monroe and its segment of S.R. 63 as well as with the
City of Oxford and its plans for a bypass. "Our goal is
to present an iron-clad case at the State's next TRAC (Transportation
Review Advisory Council) meeting to move the Trenton portion
of the project up to a Tier 1," added Foster.
Developed From Trenton Bypass Concept
The Trenton Area Access
Study / S.R. 63 Corridor Evaluation evolved from the original
Trenton Bypass concept. That project came about in the late 1970s
when Miller Brewing Company made plans to open a plant south
of Trenton. When the plant didn't open, interest in the bypass
waned during the 1980s. With the eventual opening of Miller in
1990 and subsequent commercial and residential development in
the area, the BCEO revived the Trenton Bypass and modified it
to accommodate today's traffic needs.
No longer a "bypass"
looping from S.R. 73 around Trenton, the initial phase of the
project now encompasses a corridor from S.R. 4 just north of
S.R. 63, west toward Miller Brewery, and terminating at U.S.
127 in the Seven Mile area. An extension of this corridor is
also being evaluated from U.S. 127, west to U.S. 27, and along
the south and west side of Oxford (the future Oxford Bypass).
Foster engineered a
major presentation to the Ohio Department of Transportation's
TRAC committee last June. The nine-member board is comprised
of several key personnel who are charged with the difficult task
of prioritizing finances for dozens of major projects statewide.
With support from numerous local and state officials, Miller,
Miami University, and other members of the local business community,
Foster presented his case for the new Butler County road. He
said following the release of Tuesday's new rankings that he
is "very pleased we made an impact."
The Engineer's Office
has already presented the Trenton Area Access Study to the general
public. Over a hundred people attended a public input meeting
held on September 9 at Edgewood High School. The meeting was
designed to provide information about the developing project
and to seek preliminary input on transportation issues facing
the Trenton area. At least two more public meetings are planned
in an effort to solve existing and future traffic concerns in
northern Butler County.
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